James Cameron has been working non-stop writing sequels to his box office hit movie, Avatar, but the filmmaker revealed that he hasn’t given up on his adaptation for the anime and manga, “Battle Angel.” The adaptation would be a live-action imagining of the popular story. Continue reading
Call on just about anyone to list ten directors who don’t suck and surely James Cameron will wind up on that list. Right now the visionary director is hard at work on sequels to Avatar, the somewhat groundbreaking adventure he directed, wrote produced and edited, but we know the name of the project most likely to get his attention next. It’s a book adaptation called The Informationist.
Sure, some folks didn’t see much difference between the Avatar storyline and that of Disney’s Pocahontas, but if you weren’t dying your skin blue after seeing the 2009 release, don’t forget that incredible innovations in filming technology were utilized during production. Cameron’s work is all about boldly going where no man has gone before. The Terminator series is still considered a landmark in science fiction. For the sequel, T2: Judgement Day, a liquid metal humanoid killing machine brought terrific advances in special effects artistry. Just prior, his highly under appreciated work, The Abyss, took a hearty group of survivors to the bottom of the ocean to interact with an alien much kinder than the one he directed in Aliens. As for Titanic? Well, who else would have been bold enough to recreate such an epic disaster in such studied detail?
What uncharted terrain is left to be traversed? How about the wilds of Africa? Or maybe the layers of a woman’s psyche?
Lightstorm Entertainment purchased the motion picture rights to the 2011 novel The Informationist by Taylor Stevens, with James Cameron eager to direct the film for Twentieth Century Fox. We just have to wait for the finishing touches on the second and third Avatar films, in pre-production now, for work on The Informationist to begin.
The Informationist is the story of Vanessa “Michael” Munroe, an information specialist. Her area of expertise strikes me as awfully similar to that of Lisbeth Salander of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or Olivia Pope of Scandal, the addictive political thriller from Shonda Rhimes.
Because of her skills, Vanessa is highly sought after by heads of state and wealthy private clients. A rich oil baron puts her on payroll to search for his daughter who went to the continent of Africa four years prior, and then seemingly vanished. Vanessa, who actually lived in Africa as a child winds up quickly double-crossed, stuck in the middle of no where, and left for dead. As she tries to survive, she also must face a past she’s been trying to forget her entire adult life.
On the production team are James Cameron and Jon Landau. They’ll have to shop around for a writer to adapt the novel soon, but we probably won’t be hearing about actors for a while.
In his statement, Cameron said, “Taylor Stevens’ Vanessa Michael Munroe is an intriguing and compelling heroine with an agile mind and a thirst for adventure. Equally fascinating for me is her emotional life and her unexpected love story. I’m looking forward to bringing Vanessa and her world to the big screen.”
John Landau added, “This was an opportunity to continue our relationship with Fox and Jim Gianopulos beyond the Avatar films. We were drawn to this book because of the terrific, compelling narrative and the character, who typifies the strong female protagonists that have inhabited Jim’s work in this case Vanessa Munroe is essentially a mix of Lisbeth Salander and Jason Bourne.”
See that? Landau and I agree about Dragon Tattoo similarities.
A follow up, second “Vanessa Michael Munroe” novel, titled The Innocent, premiered just this year.
An autobiography from the book’s author Taylor Stevens, would be just as compelling to read. The woman was raised as a child inside an apocalyptic religious cult. She lived in strict all over the world, was cut off from her family at age twelve, not educated more than on a sixth grade level, and spent much of that time begging on the streets or washing clothes for hundreds of her fellow cult members. In her twenties, Stevens was able to escape the cult and is now a full-time writer and mother.
What if mega director James Cameron had directed Jurassic Park? Would the love story between Sam Neill’s Dr. Alan Grant and Laura Dern’s Ellie Sattler gotten a little more star-crossed? Would the film have been three hours long? Would Jeff Goldbloom’s Dr. Ian Malcolm have tested his chaos theory by taking a wild ride atop a pterodactyl? It is an interesting question to ponder, and here’s why. Cameron has revealed that he was very interested in the Jurassic Park script.
Don’t get me wrong, Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park is a classic. I’ll never forget the kitchen scene, as our heroes are relentlessly hunted by a pair of Velociraptors. The Jurassic Park ride at Universal’s Islands of Adventure is one of my favs. It’s just fun to ask ‘what if’?
Anyway, James Cameron shouldn’t waste any tears. He says,
I tried to buy the book rights and [Spielberg] beat me to it by a few hours.
The director of Terminator 2 and Avatar was very candid at the Titanic Museum in Belfast. This museum just so happens to be the place where the historical ship was first designed.
For Cameron, Jurassic Park may be the one that got away, but Cameron adds,
When I saw the film, I realized that I was not the right person to make the film, he was. Because he made a dinosaur movie for kids, and mine would have been Aliens with dinosaurs, and that wouldn’t have been fair.
Dinosaurs are for 8-year-olds. We can all enjoy it, too, but kids get dinosaurs and they should not have been excluded for that. His sensibility was right for that film, I’d have gone further, nastier, much nastier.
Can you imagine the dinosaurs getting any nastier? I suppose rather than the camera kindly panning away when Wayne Knight is devoured, trying to escape the island, we may have witnessed the gore instead. He’s right. That doesn’t sound quite as family friendly.
Titanic, is, of course, the highest-grossing film of all time. It won an Oscar for Best Picture and Best Director. So, there’s really no downside in this debate. The picture has been recently released to Blu-Ray and Blu-Ray 3D, which included two extra documentaries illuminating the history of Titanic and the making of the film.
And did you know that 15 years later, some fans are still angry that Jack and Rose didn’t share that floating bit of driftwood, to prevent Jack from freezing to death? Recently, the director said this in defense of the iconic scene,
It’s not a question of room. It’s a question of buoyancy. When Jack puts Rose on the raft, then he tries to get on the raft – he’s not an idiot, he doesn’t want to die – and the raft sinks, and it kind of flips. And so it’s clear that there’s really only enough buoyancy available for one person. So he makes a decision to let her be that person instead of taking them both down.
There’s even a rumor floating around the interwebs (sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun), that Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters will tackle the question head on, to figure out whether the pair could have shared the bit of flotsam or not. Cameron has expressed a desire to help out if and when they do so.