Trying to nail down exactly what James Cameron is up to has become a bit of a futile exercise in recent years. Following the massive success of “Titanic” the director abandoned narrative films altogether and opted instead to make underwater documentaries.
When he finally came back to movies he exploded the record books with “Avatar,” but since then he’s become somewhat elusive again. Cameron’s made it clear that he intends to do several “Avatar” sequels, but exactly how many seems to be in flux. And then what he plans after that is even harder to nail down.
In a recent press release Lightstorm Entertainment announced that a new film on Cameron’s plate after the “Avatar” sequels would be an adaptation of the thriller “The Informationist.” This is seemingly a direct contradiction to what Cameron’s producing partner Jon Landau said earlier, that the long in development “Battle Angel” would follow the “Avatar” sequels.
Landau is also involved in this new project so it could just be that Cameron changed his mind about what his follow up to “Avatar” would be, rather than there being some kind of misunderstanding. It’s worth pointing out that the press release don’t specifically say it will be his very next project, just that it will follow “Avatar.” So it’s possible that “Battle Angel” will still happen first.
“The Informationist” is a thriller about an information specialist who is hired to find a billionaire’s missing daughter. This leads Vanessa “Michael” Munroe, the titular informationist, to Africa where she has to confront some demons from her own past. It’s a potential franchise starter as a book sequel was released earlier this year.
Cameron has a history of strong female characters so in many ways this a natural fit for him. However it’s also much more grounded in reality than most of his best known films are. That may be part of the appeal, a break from sci-fi and high fantasy before getting back into that with “Battle Angel.”
Even if it comes before “Battle Angel” the project is still some time off as Cameron has at least two “Avatar” sequels to complete. The films are going to be shot back to back which will cut down on the time frame slightly but it’s still going to be a few years off. In the meantime Lightstorm will likely begin the adaptation process.
In fact the press release mentions that the next step will be for the producers to hire a screenwriter to adapt the novel into a script. It’s yet another project for a director who is rapidly becoming notorious for taking a great deal of time between films.