January 14, 2015

AVATAR 2 Delayed Until 2017 And Could Effect BATTLE ANGEL's Development

There is word from James Cameron (via Coming Soon) that his Avatar sequel with the working title of Avatar 2 is now being delayed from it's original release date of December 2016 to December 2017. The delays are due to the extensive writing needed to make sure all three sequels are cohesive with each other. Cameron still expects to shoot all three films at the same which is likely apart of the delay.

“There’s a layer of complexity in getting the story to work as a saga across three films that you don’t get when you’re making a stand-alone film,” said Cameron.“We’re writing three simultaneously. And we’ve done that so that everything tracks throughout the three films. We’re not just going to do one and then make up another one and another one after that and parallel with that, we’re doing all the design. So we’ve designed all the creatures and the environments.” 
This makes sense since the team of writers include Josh Friedman, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver working on Avatar 2 and Avatar 3, while Shane Salerno is writing Avatar 4 . James Cameron being involved with development on all three scripts. A rather large task since he's also directing all three films as well.

The news will likely also see delays with both Avatar 3 and Avatar 4 release dates as well pushing them to December 2018 and December 2019.

Hey look! It's a Battle Angel t-shirt.
Like most, we were all shocked when James Cameron announced he was making three sequels to Avatar. It's a bizarre move on the part of Cameron considering all the criticism he received for the film's boring and predictable story.

I'm sort of lamenting to all the wonderful films he could be making instead of focusing on this sub-par science fiction franchise. It's $2.7 billion box office is likely one of driving factors along with his nutty belief these films could help the environmental movement.

Fans like myself would rather see James Cameron focusing on more gritty material and getting back to his Terminator and Aliens roots.

Back in 2013, James Cameron did confirm to fellow director Alfonso Cauron during the TAG DF event that he was indeed going to be returning to Battle Angel Alita once production on Avatar 3 was completed in 2017. The project titled Alita is an adaptation of the manga and anime.

Combined with news that Avatar 2 will be delayed until 2017 and a third sequel added to the lineup since his announced development plans for Alita. I'm curious if the film will ever get made or will be further delayed.

Cameron had been originally developing the manga/anime adaptation's script with screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis (Ghost In The Shell, Terminator Genesys, Avatar, Shutter Island) while shooting Avatar and you can even spot him wearing a Battle Angel t-shirt on the set in the picture above.

Jim started commissioning design work on the film in 2008 which gives you an idea how long he's been working on the project. Cameron would eventually shoot test-footage for the film but it never seemed to make it's way online or to the public.

Alita, a cyborg who has lost all memories and is found in a garbage heap by a cybernetics doctor who rebuilds and takes care of her. She discovers that there is one thing she remembers, the legendary cyborg martial art Panzer Kunst, which leads to her becoming a Hunter Warrior or bounty hunter. The story traces Alita's attempts to rediscover her past and the characters whose lives she impacts on her journey. 

The project is like a mix of Blade Runner, Rollerball and Akira meets Ghost In The Shell with organ/robotic implant thievery. Littered with hardcore action and violence more in the realm of a Paul Verhoeven film like Robcop or Total Recall. Not to mention the protagonist of the film would be a very young girl.

During it's original development there had been a large demand to see Juno's Ellen Page take the role of Alita. Since then she would go on to star in huge blockbusters such as X-Men Days of Future Past and Christopher Nolan's Inception. Fox has even played with the idea of a Kitty Pryde spin-off but no official plans have been made.

It's more than likely that Page has aged-out of the role since the test footage was described to have an actress that looked like she was fourteen years old.

A younger actress who I think would be perfect for the role is Joey King (The Conjuring, Fargo, Crazy Stupid Love, Battle LA). You might remember she played a young Talia al Ghul in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises.


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