James Cameron made a bold and unexpected announcement this week. The director of the two highest-grossing movies of all time, as well as several more extremely popular and beloved films, will from this point forward devote the remainder of his career to churning out ‘Avatar’ sequels. Is this a brilliant business decision, or tacit acknowledgement of creative bankruptcy?
According to an interview he gave to The New York Times, Cameron said the following:
Last year I basically completely disbanded my production company’s development arm. So I’m not interested in developing anything. I’m in the “Avatar” business. Period. That’s it. I’m making “Avatar 2,” “Avatar 3,” maybe “Avatar 4,” and I’m not going to produce other people’s movies for them. I’m not interested in taking scripts. And that all sounds I suppose a little bit restricted, but the point is I think within the “Avatar” landscape I can say everything I need to say that I think needs to be said, in terms of the state of the world and what I think we need to be doing about it. And doing it in an entertaining way. And anything I can’t say in that area, I want to say through documentaries, which I’m continuing.
This is disappointing on a number of levels, not the least of which is that I didn’t think all that highly of ‘Avatar‘ in the first place. With that said, I might be willing to give Cameron the benefit of the doubt that his sequels could improve on the first film. After all, he already copied the entire script for ‘Dances With Wolves’ and will have to come up with something different for the next one. Even so, this decision feels like it’s beneath the talents for the man who gave us ‘The Terminator’, ‘Aliens’ and ‘True Lies’. I’d prefer to see him devote his energies to creating something new, but I guess that doesn’t interest him anymore.
This would effectively mean that Cameron’s long-gestating plans to make a live-action version of the anime series ‘Battle Angel Alita’ have been scrapped. Or does it? Harry Knowles at AICN claims to have gotten in touch with Cameron, who allegedly told him, “No. I still love that project. But Battle Angel is not going to happen for a few years.” While I trust Harry Knowles about as far as I can throw him (fat joke unavoidable, sorry), the timing of Cameron’s new ‘Avatar’ announcement seems particularly strange, given that as recently as a month ago, the director refused to give up the rights to the ‘Battle Angel’ property.
What do you make of this news?
[via Entertainment Weekly]