Despite Statements to the Contrary, James Cameron still has time for Battle Angel Alita
A few days ago James Cameron told the New York Times that he was, for the foreseeable future, going to be doing two things: making documentaries about the deep ocean, and making Avatar movies. He says he shut down the development arm of his production company and is no longer accepting scripts to produce. He’ll make two to three more Avatar movies, and then he’s out of the fiction film business for good.
Among those who follow Cameron’s work, however, this left one question: What about Battle Angel Alita, the manga and feature animated film adaptation thereof, that Cameron has been working on for several years and owns the American license to? According to Ain’t It Cool News, Alita may still be on the table.
Battle Angel Alita, also known as Gunnm, is the story of the titular amnesiac cyborg on a quest to discover her origins, and in the meantime work as a bounty hunter in Scrapyard, a city of sorts founded in the debris discarded by the floating city of Tiphares (Salem, in the original Japanese). Dystopian future society, cyborgs coexisting with technologically enhanced humans, a popular and brutal contact sport sponsored by the ruling class to entertain the downtrodden plebes… you get the idea.
Cameron owns the American license to the story and announced he was preparing to adapt it to live action as early as 2010, but the production has been in an out of development. Since Cameron purchased the license, the OVA (original video animation, or feature length anime) based on Yukito Kishiro‘s manga has been unavailable in the US. There are a lot of fans of anime and Battle Angel that have been salivating over the idea of Cameron’s adaptation for a while, and the news that he’d only be making Avatar films ever again struck something of a death knell.
For those reasons, Ain’t It Cool News says it reached out to Cameron to ask him specifically about the fate of Battle Angel Alita, and the filmmaker answered:
I still love that project. But Battle Angel is not going to happen for a few years.
Take that to mean what it will, whether Cameron simply forgot about Battle Angel when he said he would be doing nothing but Avatar, or whether he’s simply not as interested in BAA anymore and is pushing it out a few years, or whether he’s just toying with us all in every respect.