Before Avatar was even released, the word "trilogy" was getting tossed around and many were clamoring for details about sequels to a film they hadn’t even seen yet. Director James Cameron wasn’t just finishing up a fifteen-year-old labor of love, he was committing to a franchise and a brand that - at this point - has taken on a life of its own.
Further Avatar films were inevitable, but the prospect of two sequels potentially shooting back-to-back calls into question the future of other films Cameron’s had on the back-burner - specifically, Battle Angel.
"It's still on my radar. It's a story I love. We wrote the script back before we started Avatar and again, we gotta figure out where it lies. I don't have infinite time."
For those unfamiliar with Battle Angel, it’s based on the manga-turned-anime series Battle Angel Alita, which tells the story of an amnesic female cyborg who becomes a bounty hunter. The film would utilize the same 3D motion-capture technology as Avatar and Cameron has stated it would encompass the first three volumes of the manga.
Like Avatar, Battle Angel would mark the first chapter in a trilogy - so you can see why many Battle Angel fans aren’t holding their breath just yet. With Avatar at the apex of its popularity, launching another ambitious franchise simultaneously may seem daunting even for a filmmaker as fearless as Cameron. However, don’t count out the possibility just yet.
While Cameron remains understandably excited about further explorations of Pandora, he hasn’t definitively decided that Avatar 2 will be his next film:
“I’m perfectly comfortable going back to that world. The question I haven’t answered for myself yet is am I comfortable going back to that world right now or do I do another movie in between?”
As intriguing as Cameron’s ideas for Avatar sequels are, Battle Angel is a great fit for his sensibilities and I’d love to see him finally get that property on the big screen. If you remember his short-lived television show Dark Angel, it’s clear what an influence Battle Angel has had on his work.
Personally, I don’t think Avatar’s fan base is going anywhere, but I understand how passionate Cameron is about that mythology and how tempting ($$$$) it must be to go in and expand on it, now that he’s got an audience that’s just as invested.
There’s also the option of Cameron simply producing Battle Angel and letting someone else direct the film. For now, let’s just take solace in knowing he hasn’t forgotten about it all together.
Check out Coming Soon for the full interview which includes additional info on Avatar’s re-release and the upcoming Aliens Blu-ray.