James Cameron: ‘Avatar’ Will Do ‘More Good’ Than ‘Battle Angel’

James Cameron’s long-planned passion project “Battle Angel” is still coming, but we’re going to have to wait a very, very long time to see it.

When MTV News caught up with Cameron while he was promoting the re-release of “Titanic” in 3D, we couldn’t resist asking about his adaptation of the manga series “Battle Angel Alita.” Last we heard he still wanted to make it, but wouldn’t be able to start working on it until after he’s done with the next two “Avatar” films. Cameron reinforced that now, adding that he’s working on the “Avatar” movies first because of the good they can do for the world.

“I see the good the ’Avatar’ franchise can do in terms of keeping a world audience cognizant of our relationship with nature, but doing it in an entertainment context,” he said. “Ultimately I think there’s more good to be done there than with ’Battle Angel.’ ’Battle Angel’ is just a great, kick ass story.”

As Cameron acknowledged, there was once a time where it was “a coin toss” as to whether “Avatar” or “Battle Angel” would be his next film. He ultimately went with “Avatar,” and hasn’t looked back since. But with his commitments to “Avatar 2” and “3” stretching out over the next half a decade, Cameron has often been asked if he would be willing to give “Battle Angel” over to a new director. His answer to MTV News was an emphatic no.

“It would have to be pried out of my cold dead fingers,” he said. “But on the other hand, I don’t want to take it to my grave either. [We want to see it] at some point, yeah.”

For those of you uninitiated, “Battle Angel” is about an amnesiac cyborg named Alita who ends up becoming a bounty hunter. The nine-volume-long series follows Alita’s attempts to rediscover her past, and also shares the stories of the people she meets along the way.

Cameron has previously said that his “Battle Angel” film would incorporate plot points from the first four graphic novels, including the awesome Motorball storyline. It’s unclear whether that still would be his plan going forward, but we’d love to see how a 3D and CGI expert like Cameron would be able to present the hyperviolent sport on the big screen.

Would you rather have “Battle Angel” or the “Avatar” sequels first? Tell us in the comments section below or on Twitter!