About two weeks ago, James Cameron was rumored to direct Angelina Jolie in yet another film about the Queen of the Nile – In 3D. Because of the purportedly brilliant script, written by Bran Helgeland, Sony co-chair Amy Pascal wanted to fast track production on and with Cameron at the helm the film had big box office potential. But even with the talent attached to this project, as well as the rumored fantastic screenplay, I didn’t think Cameron would sign on, simply because I didn’t feel he’d direct something that wasn’t of his own design. “Cleopatra” is Angelina Jolie’s vanity piece. It has her written all over it. She would have creative control, not Cameron.
So, when news hit that James Cameron’s next project would be two sequels to “Avatar” and not “Cleopatra”, I wasn’t shocked. “Avatar” has been Cameron’s obsession for years and given the film’s financial success ($2.8 billion), I didn’t think he’d postpone continuing the franchise for a biopic that will not make as much change. Plus, the sizable donation Fox gave to Cameron’s green fund probably helped with the decision-making. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cameron’s talk with Sony was nothing more than a ploy as a means to up his salary. If this was the case, it worked and well played.
Unfortunately, or fortunately if you’re not a fan of tall blue beings, we’re going to have to wait a bit for the “Avatar” sequels. The scripts will take time to produce and, of course, there’s the extraordinary special effects involved. The soonest we’ll see the “Avatar” sequels are December 2014 and 2015.
I gotta admit, even though I am excited about this announcement, I’m kinda disappointed. I was looking forward to Cameron’s imagining of “Battle Angel Alita.” Manga at it’s finest, “Alita” is about a cyborg who becomes a bounty hunter. If you’ve never heard of it, I suggest you pick up the manga by Yukito Kishiro first, then Netflix the anime.
For now, Neytiri will tide me over. She’s about as bad-ass as Alita. Here’s hoping there are more fight sequences with the Na’vi native in the upcoming 3-Disc special edition Blu-ray release of “Avatar,” due Nov. 15.
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