Though James Cameron’s been busy searching the seas lately, he’ll soon be turning his attention (we think) to the long-promised Avatar sequels. He will be directing Avatar 2 and 3 back-to-back, but it appears that he’s already selected his post-Avatar project. It was announced today that Lightstorm Entertainment has acquired the rights to Taylor Stevens’ 2011 novel The Informationist for Cameron to direct and produce, with Lightstorm partner Jon Landau also producing.
The story centers on an information specialist who is hired by a Texas oil billionaire to find his daughter who vanished in Africa four years ago. The specialist finds herself “back in the lands of her childhood,” where she must come face-to-face with the past that she’s tried to forget. Landau describes the character as “a mix between Lisbeth Salander and Jason Bourne.” Hit the jump for more.
The press release notes that Cameron will direct The Informationist for 20th Century Fox after he completes work on the second and third Avatar sequels. Given that those are two ginormous, effects-heavy films, I wouldn’t expect him to be available until 2016 or so at the earliest. Producers have now turned their attention to putting a writer on the project, which looks to be the first in a franchise.
This contradicts earlier claims by Cameron that he wasn’t interested in developing anything besides Avatar movies, and Landau recently said that Cameron would be following the Avatar sequels with his long-awaited adaptation of Yukito Kishiro’s manga Battle Angel Alita. Though I have no doubt that Cameron intends to direct The Informationist at this point, a lot can change in four years; who knows what he’ll turn to when/if he finally closes the book on Avatar. That said, I can’t say I’m not intrigued by the prospect of Cameron returning to the thriller territory of True Lies and The Terminator.
Read the press release below:
LOS ANGELES, (October 23, 2012) – Lightstorm Entertainment has acquired motion picture rights to the acclaimed 2011 novel The Informationist by Taylor Stevens, as vehicle for James Cameron to direct for 20th Century Fox Film. The Informationist will be a project for Cameron after he completes work on the second and third “Avatar” films, which are currently in pre-production.
Published in October 2011, Stevens’ tale centers on Vanessa “Michael” Munroe, an information specialist, whose work is in-demand by corporations, heads of state, private clients, and anyone else who can pay for her unique brand of expertise. When a Texas oil billionaire hires her to find his daughter who vanished in Africa four years ago. Munroe finds herself back in the lands of her childhood. Betrayed, cut off from civilization, and left for dead, she must come face-to-face with the past that she’s tried for so long to forget.
Cameron will produce with Lightstorm partner, Jon Landau. The producers expect to hire a writer to adapt the novel shortly.
Jim Cameron stated: “Taylor Stevens’ Vanessa Michael Munroe is an intriguing and compelling heroine with an agile mind and a thirst for adventure. Equally fascinating for me is her emotional life and her unexpected love story. I’m looking forwarding to bringing Vanessa and her world to the big screen.”
Added Landau: “This was an opportunity to continue our relationship with Fox and Jim Gianopulos beyond the ‘Avatar’ films. We were drawn to this book because of the terrific, compelling narrative and the character, who typifies the strong female protagonists that have inhabited Jim’s work – in this case Vanessa Munroe is essentially a mix of Lisbeth Salander and Jason Bourne.”
A second “Vanessa Michael Munroe” novel, The Innocent, was published earlier this year.
Author Taylor Stevens has a background every bit as intriguing as her heroine’s. Born in New York State, and into the Children of God, an apocalyptic religious cult spun from the Jesus Movement of the ’60s, Stevens was raised in communes across the globe. Separated from her family at age twelve and denied an education beyond sixth grade, she lived on three continents and in a dozen countries before reaching fourteen. In place of schooling, the majority of her adolescence was spent begging on city streets at the behest of cult leaders, or as a worker bee child, caring for the many younger commune children, washing laundry and cooking meals for hundreds at a time. In her twenties, Stevens broke free in order to follow hope and a vague idea of what possibilities lay beyond. She now lives in Texas, and juggles full-time writing with full-time motherhood.