Battle Angel Next for Cameron?

Frame from the Battle Angel Alita manga
Frame from the Battle Angel Alita manga

According to Sci-Fi Wire James Cameron (ALIENS, AVATAR) is hard at work on his adaptation of Yukito Kishiro’s manga, BATTLE ANGEL ALITA, and it may be his next directorial project. He detailed his plans for the film at yesterday’s Earth Day ceremony at 20th Century Fox Studios which marked the debut of the AVATAR Blu-ray and DVD release.

The BATTLE ANGEL ALITA series is set in the future and focuses on Alita, a cyborg who has lost all her memories and is found in a garbage heap by a cybernetics doctor who rebuilds her. She discovers that there is one thing she remembers, the legendary cyborg martial art, ‘Panzer Kunst’, which leads to her becoming a bounty hunter. Cameron has been planning a film version for years now but it sounds as if the project is finally coming closer to fruition. Speaking about ALITA Cameron said,

“I just love the character. Maybe it’s from having daughters. I have three daughters, and thinking about what it’s like, the main character is this little girl that everybody kind of ignores. She’s got such a heroic heart on the inside, I’ve always loved that character”.

Cameron, speaking about AVATAR 2, also states that,

“Look, Avatar 2 is going to get made. It’s a question of is it the next film or is there something else in between. I haven’t made that decision yet.”

Fox Film Entertainment co-chairman and chief executive officer Tom Rothman says he doesn’t mind whether Cameron decides to made AVATAR 2 or ALITA next,

“My preference is only that he makes another great movie for us. We’ve seen a lot of the stuff on Battle Angel over the last year, so we’re very fired up about it. Look, James Cameron and 20th Century Fox have been in business together for over 25 years, one of the most successful partnerships in the history of the movie business, so that’s something obviously that will continue”.

From the sounds of these interviews it’s highly likely Cameron will make ALITA his top priority post-AVATAR; the studio have no preference and he still sounds very involved in the project. The real question is, should he? Although Cameron clearly has a passion for the source material I have doubts as to whether he’ll deliver a faithful adaptation or instead tone down the manga’s violence, change the age of the heroine and make it more of a family film. Neither of his last two films (TITANIC and AVATAR) have particularly impressed me and it seems his days of edgier sci-fi are behind him.
What do you think, is Cameron the man for an ALITA adaptation or should he stick with the Na’vi instead?