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James Cameron Confirms BATTLE ANGEL As His Next Film!!

Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...

Finally... straight from the horse’s mouth. Yesterday, James Cameron was interviewed on NPR, and you can find the archived interview here. If you want to hear him talk about his next film, fast-forward to about 31 minutes into the piece, close to the end.

We’ve been saying this for months now... maybe longer... but Cameron has confirmed all the details I’ve written about here on the site. BATTLE ANGEL is the next film, pre-production is underway as they finish up the shooting draft, the main character will be completely created using CG, and the film will be shot in 3-D.

The majority of the interview is about his new film ALIENS OF THE DEEP, and we actually got in a letter from someone who was at the premiere screening of the film, which I’ll excerpt here:

... so that’s how I ended up seeing a press screening of ALIENS OF THE DEEP on Thursday morning in NY. Thank god for sneaky friends, you know? Overall, I liked the movie a lot, but the 3D is still a little problematic. Cameron mentioned that they are going to redo the main title, so that’s not a big deal, but there are some shots in the film that just made my brain hurt. I can name three in particular:

There’s this one CG graphic that starts in space and zooms down to the bottom of the ocean that is pretty amazing, and you get a real sense of vertigo as you’re zooming past ships until you get underwater. But the 3D is screwed up somehow. If it gets fixed, this’ll be an amazing moment.

There’s also this very cool winged octopus that just doesn’t seem real because of the 3D. It doesn’t work right.

And then there’s a simple depth perception issue with some of the shots of the people inside the submarines, like we're too close to them. It can get disorienting.

It’s not an action movie, obviously. It starts slow and takes its time getting to the main subject, but when you do finally see all the fish and the other crazy underwater creatures and the black smoking chimneys, it’s incredible. I’m willing to put up with that weird 3D headache to see such a cool alien environment and such bizarre critters so close you can almost touch them. I think it would help if I had a science background or if I’d done the same amount of research that Cameron obviously has. The brief narration really helps, but I could use more of it. I wasn’t sure what was going on sometimes. Cameron’s one of those super-smart guys who forgets sometimes that we aren’t all as knowledgeable as him.

Also, what’s with the obsession on bacteria? It doesn’t make sense at times. Cameron says in the film that he thinks it’s beautiful, but I’m not sure how it all ties together.

Thanks to our reviewer, and also to NPR for finally getting Cameron to go on the record about BATTLE ANGEL. I’ve heard he has a firm start date for this summer, so get ready, kids... Cameron’s finally coming back!!

"Moriarty" out.

Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 19, 2004, 4:30 p.m. CST


    by Childe Roland

    ...and wondering why.

  • Nov. 19, 2004, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Why is he wasting his time with this crap?

    by chrth

    We want True Lies 2!!!!!!

  • Nov. 19, 2004, 4:37 p.m. CST


    by pvecu

    It is the kind of material which Cameron knows perfectly how to deal with... T

  • Nov. 19, 2004, 4:42 p.m. CST

    Cameron seeks to raise the bar again

    by BilboFett

    if James Cameron is going to have the main character be 100% cg, ala gollum or garfield, I for one would NOT want to be working in that department, facing his wrath if it isn't "good enough". He'll want to raise the bar, and he probably will. But he can be a bit of a hard guy to work for. Thats alot of pressure! ESPECIALLY since James thinks he's in constant competition w/ ILM and WETA, and this is a crucial part; the main character who MUST carry the film. The torment his computer people will go through will be worse than what Steve Jobs did to the Macintosh crew. I, however, DO hope he raises the bar in digital characters, and look forward to the movie. At least this time he's attempting to 'raise the bar' without pulling it out of the ocean first.

  • Nov. 19, 2004, 4:54 p.m. CST

    Ghosts of the abyss 2...

    by BigTuna

    Please. More bill Paxton!!!!

  • Nov. 19, 2004, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Everybody chant with me ... HALO! -- HALO! -- HALO! -- HAL

    by JDanielP

    sOrry ... I jUst cOUldn't heLP mYseLF ... and hell yeah, it's GREAT to have James Cameron back!!! -- Now, if only he'd do "HALO" next ... or give superhero movies a try.

  • Nov. 19, 2004, 6:09 p.m. CST


    by uberman

    CD characters are kinda neat, like perms were kinda cool in the 70's, like backwards pants were kinda cool in the 80s, like grunge was in the 90's, but it dates itself really badly. Ever go back to a film you thought was the bomb thats mostly digital and see it again years later on TV and the CG CG. No, it is a tool at most but not a canvas ala Lucas. It 'feels' artifical. Even models, mineratures, puppets, ect. have a soul, a vibe whilst digital does not. Speilberg understands this. Thats why his work will survive for the most part. When he uses CG, he uses it correctly and mixes it in with other effect. Jackson as well. He can mix it well but I am concerned on an all CG King Kong. If hes wise he'll use a combination of effects. Cameron? He will blow with this one. So far, he has made some of my favorite films-T2 (ending with the Thumbs Up sux) and Aliens and Titanic, but of these 2 films, TITANIC suffers the most over time due to only one factor-the extensive use of CG dates the material and actually looks less realistic with time. Another factor-people sense on a deep level the phoniness of CG. IT works for a new film, but over time it suffers. Spiderman is a great example. No, Cameron will get a character that looks and acts like a human but you'll sense the artificiality of it. Critics will praise the lifelike quality but again, over time it will suffer. When everything is digital, and kids video games are as complex as the CG in the upcoming BATTLESTAR, then what will be the standard for 'real' quality? Real actors will. People will seek out real people and movies like BATTLESTAR will date badly, because what is now a novelty will soon be the norm and BATTLESTAR will be more of the same ol computer BS. ALIENS and T2, however, will be classics of the genre. BATTLESTAR is going to be a Gee-Wiz experiance but but will date faster than those tattoes on your girlfreinds ass.

  • Nov. 19, 2004, 6:11 p.m. CST

    Christina Ricci as Alita!

    by fitzcarraldo2

    I think Christina Ricci would be great as Alita, looks the most like her of any real actress, maybe CGI-enhance her eyes and she'd be perfect.

  • Nov. 19, 2004, 6:24 p.m. CST

    is there a vampyroteuthis infernalis in it ?

    by silent_light

  • Nov. 19, 2004, 6:24 p.m. CST


    by Playhouse

    It's interesting how the titles of his documentaries are plays on titles from his feature films. Ghosts of THE ABYSS. ALIENS of the Deep. What's next, THE TERMINATOR of Dawn?

  • Nov. 19, 2004, 6:25 p.m. CST

    The obsession with bacteria...

    by Christopher3

    At least the benthic ones, is that they liberate entire ocean-floor ecosystems from having to rely upon the sun for energy. That gives hope to nerds like Cameron and the folks at NASA that life might exist on otherwise sunless, iced-in space rocks like Titan and Europa.

  • Nov. 19, 2004, 6:31 p.m. CST

    Just no Celine

    by zathras34

    (She starts to sing) "Near far wherever you are, I can feel it my heart can go on" Then She is shot to pieces by a collector....and the collector says..."Damn that heart is still going" Then The AH-NOLD...Tells James cameron.."You canna do movie without me, I need to run Kali-fornia...and then the linda hamilton twins come in and try for a piece of the Cameron Movie,Then AH-NOLD turns to fire his guns..and (Vincent...Ron pearleman) starts to have at it with Ah-nold.... Its Endless.....Dont worry people...Im having a dentist day.."root canal" so now on drugs...makes writing cheesey. Im nothing if not honest... But great to see its finally gonna happen... Peace

  • Nov. 19, 2004, 6:52 p.m. CST

    Holy lead salad munching lobster courting flux flossing koalas i

    by Neosamurai85

    OK, that would be some cool news we just got there. Cool news indeed. Except for one thing... ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! It

  • Nov. 19, 2004, 6:54 p.m. CST

    Uberman: It's official your mind doesn't tolerate CG...

    by Lord_Soth

    That's your problem. As for Cameron, I hate the concept for this movie. He was associated with a plethora of projects in the last 7 years and the man picked the worst choice. I hope Celine Dion will dub that 3D monster!

  • Nov. 19, 2004, 7:05 p.m. CST

    He's had a long enough rest..

    by Rupee88

    After a 7 year rest, he should kick ass on this film. I'd call him lazy, but I don't think that great artists should force themselves to produce work if they aren't inspired and in the mood to do so. Therefore, I am just looking forward to this film a great deal, especially if they use lots of CG. I wish it was all CG like Final Fantasy, which I liked a good bit, even though the story was a bit lame and boring. But Terminator 2 was an action masterpiece, so never underestimate Cameron.

  • Nov. 19, 2004, 7:10 p.m. CST

    Imax 3-D

    by Rupee88

    Don't totally knock Imax 3-D if you've never seen a CG film in that format. I saw one and the 3-D effects were AMAZING and FLAWLESS. There's something about the CG that lets them just nail it. Other live-action Imax 3-D films haven't worked nearly as well...I almost want to go see Polar Express in Imax 3-D to see if this still holds true, but it is a boring kiddie film, so I will resist.

  • Nov. 19, 2004, 7:27 p.m. CST

    James Cameron, CG characters and 3D, who gives a rats ass.

    by Floyd Gondolli

    James Cameron is just the poor man's Michael Bay, who is the poor man's Paul W(onder) S(tuff) Anderson. Seriously though, YIPPEE!.

  • Nov. 19, 2004, 8:04 p.m. CST

    I don't know

    by 900LBGorilla

    About the Battle Angel concept, the CG main character concept, or the 3D concept...But James Cameron... Does... not... miss... so my bet is that this will be good despite the 3 faces of evil that drive the movie... I mean damn, the guy has yet to make a bad movie... Hell I don't like romance movies, and wish he made T-3 instead... but whatever, for a romance movie even titanic was good.

  • Nov. 19, 2004, 8:19 p.m. CST

    T2 is Cameron's worst film

    by Kaitain

    Seriously. It stinks. Unless you don't care about the total logical incompatibility of the film with the original, the fact that the main characters are so unsympathetic and the mechanical nature of the chases. And the CGI looks reeeeally bad now. I loved Cameron's 80s films (well, okay, I never saw Piranha 2) but T2 was probably the most disappointing film I've ever seen in terms of the ratio of what it promised to what it delivered.

  • Nov. 19, 2004, 8:21 p.m. CST


    by aphextwin

    I can't wait to see 55 year old sigourny weaver taking out Piranha's from outer space, all in glorious 3D!

  • Nov. 19, 2004, 9:18 p.m. CST

    Even though it is Cameron....

    by one9deuce

    3D freaking SUCKS! All-CG character? I don't want to watch a cartoon like Episode 2. So far, so not so good.

  • Nov. 19, 2004, 9:31 p.m. CST

    Pirahna 2

    by 900LBGorilla

  • Nov. 19, 2004, 9:33 p.m. CST

    Pirahna 2

    by 900LBGorilla

    Cameron didn't direct Pirahna2- he started, but was fired because he disagreed/foughht with the producer...the results and who is still making movies kinda tells you who was right in that arguement...

  • Nov. 19, 2004, 9:43 p.m. CST

    About T2 "sucking"

    by Yossarian

    Disagree. Still a damn fine action-adventure movie. There are a lot of little touches I like. Like the T-100 passing through the bars but the gun gets stuck, or Linda Hamilton's skidding slide when she sees AHnold. T2 was a lot better than T3 or "terminator lite" as I call it. That movie's run-time was about what? 30? 45 minutes?

  • Nov. 19, 2004, 11:06 p.m. CST

    Sensational news about James Cameron finally directing another b

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    It sounds like a video game adaptation or something. Would someone mind giving me a few details? Thanks in advance!

  • Nov. 19, 2004, 11:11 p.m. CST

    But HALO doesn't have a kick-ass babe as the lead character. P.

    by FrankDrebin

  • Nov. 19, 2004, 11:48 p.m. CST


    by Psyclops

    This is the best news I've heard all week (that Evil Dead remake was the worst). Not so sure about a completely CGI character but I'll put my faith in Cameron. This could really turn out to be one of the best sci-fi movies ever made if handled properly. Really looking forward to this one.

  • Nov. 20, 2004, 12:16 a.m. CST

    "James Cameron is just the poor man's Michael Bay"

    by Psyclops

    HAHAHAHAHA!!!! I haven't heard something that funny since the "Dicks, Pussies and Assholes" speech from TEAM AMERICA. Oh... my sides hurt. Thanks for that, I needed a good laugh.

  • Nov. 20, 2004, 2:02 a.m. CST

    Cameron needs to do one thing...

    by ABking


  • Nov. 20, 2004, 2:22 a.m. CST

    Cameron does not miss!!! Titanic was great

    by Bong

    That scene w/ DiCaprio and Winslet...I can watch that over and over You're here, there's nothing I fear, and I know that my heart will gooooooooooooooooo ooooooooooooooooon

  • Nov. 20, 2004, 4:54 a.m. CST

    ITs Official!

    by uberman

    Also, while we are at it....does anything suck more than anime? God help us, but that stuff is really bad. BIG eyes, BIG mouth that eclipses the face, BIG emphasis on a 12 year olds conception on what a 'manly man'would be like, TERRIBLE dialoge, very immature, takes itself WAY too seriously, females are some pedophiles dream of what little girls are supposed to be-all chlidlike seductiveness. Boy, this will be s.h.i.t.

  • Nov. 20, 2004, 5:37 a.m. CST

    some insight

    by Mr Ten

    Im a big fan of Cameron and a big fan of Battle Angel, but i dont know what to think of this. Im sure it'll be great but 3D.... i like to apreciate movies at home on my giant screen and not go to those stupid theatres. Also please CHANGE THE NAME of the movie. "Battle Angel" is the crappy US translation for this manga. The lead character is called "Galy", not Alita. Also i read someone mentioning that the sequel of the manga, called "Last order", sucks. which is completely untrue. This manga is amazing. I hope Cameron will take into consideration the manga, and not the anime (which was only the begining). MOTORBALL!!!! MOTORBALL!!! Cameron i hope you planed to include this in the movie, and everyone's ass will be kicked properly. The only thing that sadens me is that im a movie director too and wanted to adapt this manga... but you were first i guess. Good luck!

  • Nov. 20, 2004, 8:02 a.m. CST


    by DocPazuzu

    Apparently reality isn't real enough for people these days.

  • Nov. 20, 2004, 8:46 a.m. CST

    uberman.....thats classic

    by liljuniorbrown

    And damn true,anime is the dorkiest excuse of a medium i've ever seen.Even as a kid i used to watch Voltron and wonder why the hell those kids eyes were so damn big and always squinting with tears or sweat or something jizzing out of the corners of the big ass eyes. It's a goldmine for pedophiles and other sick ass fetishes like demons raping people and shit like that,we should bomb every country that produces it and lock up all the weird ass petter asses that worship it.

  • Nov. 20, 2004, 9:43 a.m. CST

    I thought Cameron said...

    by Kyle.Reese

    he doesn't want to do any more sequels or remakes? Isn't Battle Angel based on a manga/anime (?) comic?... I rather Cameron write and direct something completely original (Avatar!). I'm sick to death of sequels/remakes/adaptions, why can't filmmakers be more like M. Night and just think up an story themelves... However, its good to see James Cameron doing something after all these years (the last film of his I saw was in secondary school, now I'm unemployed uni grad - how time flies).

  • Nov. 20, 2004, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Battle what?

    by SalvatoreGravano

    What the hell is that "Battle Angel", again? A distant cousin of Batman & Robin?

  • Nov. 20, 2004, 10:21 a.m. CST

    The hell with Alita do a live action project A-ko

    by davids

    Alien invastion, who happen to be all women. An alien princess,A girl genius in a sexy battle suit and Eiko [prnounced A-ko] a 16 teen year old girl who runs at super sonic speed, is super strong and can leap tall buildings in a single bound and who's parents we discover in the last two minutes of the film are realy ....... This 1986 anime comic take off of anime films would make a great adventure comedy!

  • Nov. 20, 2004, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Digital Characters

    by uberman

    Cant wait for the day when there are no more real actors, because we can digitize everything. Everything is pre-packaged, merchandised to death, artificial, cold, lifeless, only approved by morons in focus groups, kids are pre-selected for genetic traits that the parents want, fat people eat a pill and get thin, a world as dead as (in the words of Thom York) 'Frozen Winter Shit.' All CG, nothing is real, no more room for human beings (too unpredictable, emotional, not cost-effective, they age, they change, they have opinions, they disagree, they are messy, not clean, virus-free and pre-programed.) And anime is symptamic with the mediocrity in which we now gloat. Watch an old looney tunes, superman, popeye or any other classic cartoon and compare the art, the backgrounds, the movement, the writing, the voice-overs, the color,etc to anime, and tell me that anime is not only inferior but actualy bad. All the women in anime are child-like, over-sexualised with pouty lips, huge breasts, huge eyes and ready for domination. Pop culture today-the big pop acts today all lip-sync. The biggest names in music cannot even play their own instruments or write their own songs. They have to steal licks, hooks from other artists and put their own name on it. This artificialty passes for music today, anime passes for art, CG passes for actual humans, Bush passes for an actual leader and a 'real' warrior, Iraq passes for a just war. Eat it up, lap it up, stuff yourselfs silly. Welcome to the digital age.

  • It is so incredibly GREAT to have such a master of sci-fi and fantasy film back at work. James Cameron has long been my favorite movie director, ever since the theatrical release of "ALIENS", ... and has NEVER disappointed (me) since. I just wish I had the power to point his passion in the direction of projects that I'd personally like to see him helm. Like the project of "HALO" ... which I have ZERO doubt that Cameron would turn into a masterpiece, being right up his alley and such a natural choice. And who here wouldn't have liked to see his take on "SPIDER-MAN", which he was attached to, for years, while it was entangled in a legal mess??? (At least the Spider-man films still turned out well.) -- I, for one, would love to see Cameron make some superhero movies. (How many of you know that he originally wanted to grow up to be a comic book artist?) I'm thinking he is more a Marvel Comics fan ... than DC Comics. But how I would love to see his spin on a "JUSTICE LEAGUE" movie ... or a "WORLDS FINEST" with Batman and Superman. Or how about a BIG SCREEN adaption of "KINGDOM COME" ... which is so much a masterpiece (of sequential art) as is ... that maybe it would be just plain ridiculous to (attempt to) duplicate it for the big screen. But hey, I'd gladly take a big screen adpation of "THE ULTIMATES" ... which is a more Hollywood (yet life-like) take on Marvel's Avengers. Heck, ... I'm already missing what he would have done with the THING from the new "FANTASTIC FOUR" movie. -- And egads! I'm sure that Cameron would have NEVER been satisfied with the new Batman costume (especially the cowl). But at least most everything else looks to be going in the (or "a") right direction for "BATMAN BEGINS". -- Great to have you back, Jim. -- (I'm jealous. Some people get all the luck ... to have such opportunity in life.)

  • Nov. 20, 2004, 9:45 p.m. CST

    how did he manage to score battle angle?

    by quamb

    what kind of studio would fund such a mega-budget project based on a 12 year old cyborg girl ripping apart other cyborgs?

  • Nov. 20, 2004, 9:56 p.m. CST

    3-D sucks.

    by MyNameDoesn'tFit

    And the only great movie he's made is "The Abyss" (which we're still screwed on with a non-16x9 enhanced DVD).

  • Nov. 20, 2004, 10:18 p.m. CST

    Cameron wants Arnie and Sly!!!

    by ABking

    Jim is said to want Arnie and Sly for BATTLE ANGEL!!!

  • Nov. 21, 2004, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Whoever invented CGI should be in prison.

    by phatboi560

    Cgi is just plain bad and it ruins what might otherwise be half decent movies. I Robot was ruined by all the fake looking crap running around on screen and thats probably CGI at its best. To see it at its worst just watch any Steven Summers flick

  • Nov. 21, 2004, 1:04 p.m. CST

    James Cameron should ALWAYS go with his passion ... even if that

    by JDanielP

    My previous post mentioned of wishful thinking ... of being able to guide James Cameron's "passion" for projects that I (personally) would like to see him take on. -- I would NEVER want him to direct a movie if his passion was NOT in it ... if he was attempting to please others instead of himself. After all, how else could he (or ANY director) stay true to his own unique vision?

  • Nov. 22, 2004, 8:56 a.m. CST

    halo movie!!!

    by Devz0r

    will be the worst thing since sliced bread. Halo was crap kiddies. I haven't played two so i have no opinion, but the first really wasn't that good. If you want video game movies, there's plenty out there practically waiting for adaptation (Max Payne, Half-Life), leave halo alone. Oh, and somebody, please kill Uwe Boll or whatever his stinkin' name is. Battle Angel hey.. I don't know, i'd rather it be live action, but i'll rest my judgement with 'interesting' for now.

  • Nov. 22, 2004, 9:16 a.m. CST

    Cameron is back?

    by ATARI

    I'm afraid after his post-Titanic ego-trip, that anything he does will be subpar compared to his earlier genius.

  • Nov. 22, 2004, 11:10 a.m. CST

    ExcaliburFfolkes ( would that be Rufus Excalibur ffolkes? Heh )

    by Blue_Demon

    Battle Angel Alita is a great manga about a cybor brain and body found by a young "cyborg doctor" in a junkyard on a future earth. The girl ( Alita ) does not remember her past but finds that she is a powerful and dangerous warrior robot. It's more than that, trust me. It is a very moving story about her trying to find her humanity and dealing with love and loss. If the movie comes halfway as good as the comic it will be an awesome film. You can find the manga at any Borders. It is by Yukito Kishiro. Damn the man can draw! I know Cameron is going to knock this one out of the park.

  • Nov. 22, 2004, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Cameron sounds like the new Jacques Cousteau, if you remember hi

    by Ted Striker

    Jacques Cousteau was fun to watch, as is Cameron, while battling Deep Blue. But I miss Camerons blockbuster films - please, James, come home to Hollywood. We all miss you.

  • Nov. 23, 2004, 9:24 a.m. CST

    Thanks for the info Blue_Demon!

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    You were right, I was able to find the entire Battle Angel manga book series at my local Borders book store. I'm reading the first book, "Rusty Angel", right now and I must say it's pretty darn amazing. James Cameron is perfect for directing this kind of material. I can't wait to see what he does with it. Hopefully he just accepts that it is going to require an R rating, instead of trying to water it down to obtain a PG-13 or PG rating. And yes, you were also right about my ID name. The movie "ffolkes" is a guilty pleasure of mine. Roger Moore at his non-007 best. I wasn't sure if anyone else even remembered it.

  • Nov. 23, 2004, 9:42 p.m. CST

    cameron is, or should be, in that special class...


    ...of directors, along with quentin tarantino and spielberg and the bunch, who can do whatever they want. i too see the day when they don't use real actors anymore, even for dramatic films. they'll interchange actors depending on viewer preference and they'll even cast classic actors from the past. hell they might even be able to put an image of the moviegoer himself on screen. don't know if we should encourage that. t2 is magnificence...