James Cameron reveals real reason Battle Angel hasn't happened yet

We've known for a while that James Cameron's adaptation of cyborg warrior manga Battle Angel Alita is going to take quite some time, and we knew those Avatar sequels had a lot to do with it. Now Cameron's giving us a more concrete reason why Battle Angel's on the back burner, and it's not just about scheduling.

While making the rounds to promote the Titanic 3D re-release, Cameron again emphasized that he's still very excited about making a flick based on Yukito Kishiro's post-apocalyptic series, but Avatar 2 and 3 have to happen first. Why? Well, it's not just because he's already made Avatar and he wants to finish the trilogy. It's because Avatar is simply a more important franchise, not for the studio bean counters or Cameron's bank account, but for Mother Nature.

"I see the good the Avatar franchise can do in terms of keeping a world audience cognizant of our relationship with nature, but doing it in an entertainment context," Cameron said. "Ultimately I think there's more good to be done there than with Battle Angel. Battle Angel is just a great, kick-ass story."

So Avatar's going to happen first because Avatar is the story more likely to save the world? Hey, it's your billion-dollar franchise. Go for it. But what if Avatar takes even longer than it's already taken? Would Cameron ever just produce Battle Angel and turn the helm of the flick over to another director?

"It would have to be pried out of my cold dead fingers," he said. "But on the other hand, I don't want to take it to my grave either. [We want to see it] at some point, yeah."

So Cameron's got two mega-huge sci-fi epics to go before he even thinks about Battle Angel, and he'll fight to the death anyone who tries to take it from him. If you were hoping Cameron would change his mind and move this one to the front of the line, consider your hopes officially dashed.

(via MTV)

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