After James Cameron's Avatar became the highest-grossing film of all time during its theatrical run, the Titanic filmmaker quickly signed on the dotted line to make the environmental sci-fi blockbuster a trilogy (as if anyone doubted that to begin with). About a week ago, producer Jon Landau spoke to the Courier Post about Cameron's progress with the series, correcting Avatar star Sigourney Weaver who previously told press she was returning for three back-to-backs sequels. Landau said the team was "only doing two back-to-back, but not a third." MTV, however, reports that Cameron is actually considering a fourth film — and it's a prequel. The director spoke to the network saying:
"I have an idea for a fourth. I haven’t really put pen to paper on it, but basically it goes back to the early expeditions of Pandora, and kind of what went wrong with the humans and the Na’vi and what that was like to be an explorer and living in that world. Because when we drop in, even in the first film in Avatar 1, as it will be known in the future, we’re dropping into a process that’s 35 years into a whole colonization. That will complete an arc and if that leads into more, we’ll start, not imitating Star Wars, but it’s a logical thing to do because we’ll have completed the thematic arc by the end of three. The only thing left to do is go back to see what it was like on those first expeditions and create some new characters that then become legacy characters in later films. It’s a plan."
So basically, we won't see Cameron leaving the wilds of Pandora anytime soon. What does this mean for his adaptation of Yukito Kishiro's post-apocalyptic manga series about a cyborg with amnesia, Battle Angel Alita
? Landau told Swedish website Moviezine
"I am sure you will get to see Battle Angel. It is one of my favorite stories, a great story about a young woman’s journey to self-discovery. It is a film that begs the question: 'What does it mean to be human?' Are you human if you have a heart, a brain or a soul? I look forward to giving the audience the film."
The producer also told the webzine that the Avatar stories would consume the next "four or five years," (until around 2017) but that the group would start Battle Angel "hopefully right after that." Cameron's prequel could easily fall in line behind Battle Angel from the sound of it, but box office performances could determine otherwise, we suppose. It's already taken two years of planning for Cameron's back-to-back Avatar follow-ups, which he described as a "hideously complex process… and a lot has been said about that, but we don't want it to be done in the same prototypical way as the first one, we want it to be a much smoother workflow just for creativity reasons." Hear what else the director has to say below, and let us know if you're voting for an Avatar prequel or the Battle Angel adaptation to be the center of Cameron's attention.