James Cameron says ‘Avatar 4’ being envisioned as a prequel

Can’t get enough news about the “Avatar” franchise? Consider this your temporary fix.

Director James Cameron says he’s developing the rumored fourth entry in the franchise – which producer Jon Landau recently denied Cameron was shooting back-to-back-back with parts two and three – as a prequel to the original trilogy, according to a recent interview he gave to MTV. The thing is, there’s no actual script for it yet.

“I have an idea for a fourth,” said Cameron, speaking with the outlet about an upcoming collector’s edition of “Titanic” that’s slated for release on DVD/Blu-ray. “I haven’t really put pen to paper on it, but basically it goes back to the early expeditions of Pandora, and kind of what went wrong with the humans and the Na’vi and what that was like to be an explorer and living in that world.

“Because when we drop in, even in the first film in ‘Avatar 1,’ as it will be known in the future, we’re dropping into a process that’s 35 years in to a whole colonization,” he continued. “That will complete an arc and if that leads into more, we’ll start, not imitating ‘Star Wars,’ but it’s a logical thing to do because we’ll have completed the thematic arc by the end of three. The only thing left to do is go back to see what it was like on those first expeditions and create some new characters that then become legacy characters in later films. It’s a plan.”

Still, given that Cameron hasn’t even finished penning the second and third movies yet – “I’m writing two scripts together as one big thing,” he said – it’ll be a good long while before a fourth “Avatar” comes to fruition, if ever.

Of course, “Battle Angel Alita” fans likely care less about another “Avatar” sequel than about Cameron’s proposed film version of that popular Japanese manga series – and though the director seemed to cast doubt on whether he’d ever get around to directing it in an interview he gave earlier this year, his longtime producer Jon Landau has provided aficionados with renewed hope.

“We’ll focus on ‘Avatar’ for the next four or five years,” began Landau when asked about the “Alita” adaptation by Swedish website MovieZine recently (as translated by Coming Soon). “Hopefully right after that… I am confident you will see it. It’s one of my favorite stories, I think it is an incredible story, a journey of self-discovery of a young woman. It is a movie that begs the question: ‘What does it mean to be human? Are you human if you have a heart, are you human if you have a mind, are you human if you have a soul?’ And I look forward to bringing that film to audiences.”

Created by Yukito Kishiro, “Battle Angel Alita” takes place in a post-apocalyptic future and centers on an amnesiac female cyborg/bounty hunter who attempts to uncover the secrets of her past. Cameron is an avowed super-fan of the long-running series, which has continued its storyline through several volumes.

Which are you looking forward to more – the “Avatar” sequels or Cameron’s proposed “Battle Angel Alita” movie? Let us know in the comments.