While we’ve had some nudges about this property in the last year or two, it’s looking like the writing is finally on the wall when it comes to the James Cameron produced/directed Battle Angel Alita. In a new New York Times interview done while at the Beijing Film Festival, Cameron talked about how he’s now disbanded the production arm of his company entirely and, as he states, is now fully in the Avatar business. It becomes clear that the stories he wants to tell, which are few and far between it seems, can all be done within the confines of this particular universe he’s created.
“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, Avatar 2, Avatar 3, maybe Avatar 4.”
Like a lot of those who have the money, he’s definitely following what it is he’s interested in and as he states below, it’s all about the deep ocean expeditions and the Avatar world.
“I’ve divided my time over the last 16 years over deep ocean exploration and filmmaking. I’ve made two movies in 16 years, and I’ve done eight expeditions. 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, 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.”
He also spent some time talking up how his production in general is going and the first rough plans for the back to back shooting of the second and third films from the Avatar universe and where things are. The first one is supposed to hit in Christmas 2014, but that date is looking pretty much impossible at this point with the plan he has in effect and the back to back shooting.
“We’ve spent the last year and a half on software development and pipeline development. The virtual production methodology was extremely prototypical on the first film. As then, no one had ever done it before and we didn’t even know for two and half years into it and $100 million into it if it was going to work. So we just wanted to make our lives a whole lot easier so that we can spend a little more of our brainpower on creativity. It was a very, very uphill battle on the first film. So we’ve been mostly working on the tool set, the production pipeline, setting up the new stages in Los Angeles, setting up the new visual effects pipeline in New Zealand, that sort of thing. And, by the way, writing. We haven’t gotten to the design stage yet. That’ll be the next.”