The $73 million, blizzard-affected box office haul of "Avatar" has confirmed what we've long expected: James Cameron will get a chance to make a sequel to his alien-love-story-meets-kick-ass action flick. But it won't be the next film he takes on. What will? In numerous conversations, the director walked us through the projects he's contemplating with an eye toward what might be his next big-screen effort.
"Battle Angel Alita"
Cameron almost moved forward on this adaptation of Yukito Kishiro's popular manga instead of "Avatar," but ultimately chose to go with his big blue aliens — turns out that the "Avatar" practice could pay big "Battle Angel" dividends.
"Now we see it's good to have done 'Avatar' first before 'Battle Angel,' because the tricky scenes are where you're blending live-action photography, stereoscopic photography and CG," he told MTV News.
So could this be next for Cameron? "We're not that far down the line," he added. "We have a very good script and we've done a lot of production design. We've done about a year of production design and we've put together an art reel that shows the arc of the film."
A reworking of this 1950s classic been rumored to be on Cameron's cinematic wish-list since last year. Earlier this month, word began to circulate that he went gaga over a script from "Babylon 5" creator J. Michael Straczynski, who described it as neither a remake, nor a reimagining, nor exactly a prequel. Was this true? Would Cameron direct or just produce?
"That's a project that I'm actively involved in, but I haven't made any decisions about it yet," Cameron told us, adding "I love 'Forbidden Planet.' "
Might Cameron return to the murky depths he explored in 1989's "The Abyss"? "Dive" is the true story of a Cuban free diver who trains and falls in love with a French woman who breaks a bunch of world records before dying during a competition. Cameron suggested he might go for a smaller film after "Avatar," and as he put it to MTV, "By comparison to 'Avatar', ['Dive' is] quite a modestly budgeted film."
The film also recalls another of Cameron's tales, that little picture called "Titanic." This time, though, the action would be presented in 3-D. "It's a tragic story," he said. "This is a film about a three-way relationship. There's a man, a woman, and the ocean and they both have very different relationships with the ocean."
Cameron has previously said that he'd be interested in directing a "Spider-Man" film. But with Sam Raimi locked in for at least one more movie about the web-slinging boy wonder, that property won't be free for a while. Might there be another comic out there ripe for the plucking?
Doesn't seem that way. Cameron told MTV News in December that Spidey is the only superhero that gets his creative juices flowing.
"I feel there are too many superhero movies right now," Cameron explained. "I think Hollywood's in a bit of a rut. They've done the good ones and they're starting to get down to the second and third tier of superheroes — the guys that would not be asked to speak at the annual superhero dinner."
Check out everything we've got on "Avatar."
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