James Cameron project halted following controversy

source: slashfilm.com

There have been many rumours circulating the interweb about James Cameron‘s next project. Many suspect that his next project will either be a sequel to Avatar, a long-touted adaptation of the manga Battle Angel, or an adaptation of Charles Pellegrino’s yet-to-be-published book The Last Train of Hiroshima. Well, following some controversy, it looks like one of these projects has gone up in smoke.

Production of Pellegrino’s book has been halted by publisher Henry Holt and Company following allegations that some of the people mentioned in the (supposedly factual book) do not actually exist.

Cameron optioned Pellegrino’s latest (and now, non-existent) book late last year, fuelling rumours that he might produce and even direct a film about the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War 2. The duo met with Hiroshima survivor Tsutomu Yamaguchi mere days before his death to learn about his experience during the horrific event. Yamaguchi was quoted as saying, “I think it’s Cameron’s and Pellegrino’s destiny to make a film about nuclear weapons.”

Cameron and Pellegrino have shared a professional relationship for the better part of the past decade. Cameron wrote the foreword to Pellegrino’s books Ghosts of the Titanic and The Jesus Family Tomb, while the director hired the author to act as an advisor during the production of Avatar.

Pellegrino’s credibility is now under the microscope (if that wasn’t already the case following the publication of The Jesus Family Tomb). Although the author claims to have a PhD from the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, the school has come out and denied the existence of any proof that he has any such degree.

This may end up being the last word on the subject, as Cameron is unlikely to align himself with Pellegrino following this controversy.

That being said, perhaps it is for the best. Do we really want Cameron working on a film about the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? The Oscar-winning filmmaker told Yamaguchi that his picture would be “uncompromising”. I admire his bravery, but I think Cameron should stick to the fun science fiction gear.

Discuss: What project would you like to see Cameron focus his energy on?

10 Responses to “James Cameron project halted following controversy”

  1. Cameron is entitled to make any movie he wants. As is any other film maker no matter what level or stature they've accomplished so far. DO we really want James Cameron to make a film about the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? I say absolutely YES. It was a tragic time in the history of humanity and the most despicable dog act of all time. If Cameron doesn't do it with a mega budget, someone else will with a lower one. Either way, the story needs to be told to the western world one day or another.

  2. For sure; any filmmaker can do whatever they want. And the story of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki bombings deserves to be told and retold through cinema.But by Cameron? I just don't think he has the sensitive touch for such a subject. We need a film more along the lines of the classic Studio Ghibli picture GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES; sensitive, haunting and intimate. We don't need another PEARL HARBOUR.

  3. Then why is it ok for people like Steven Spielberg of ET, Jaws, Indiana Jones etc to take on stuff like Saving Private Ryan? To exclude a director based on his success in a particular genre is near-sighted. I'm open to the possiblity that James Cameron can shed a thought-provoking light on one of the darkest moments in human history.

  4. I don't think that's a fair comparison. Steven Spielberg's biggest blockbusters (E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jaws) are all character driven, and Spielberg (or at least his screenwriters) have a handle on believable human interaction.Cameron – while equalling Spielberg on the level of spectacle – has never been as good at reaching an emotional core. And frankly, I think an emotional core is more important for the Hiroshima story than fancy explosions.That being said, I will happily eat crow if Cameron does indeed make a film about the devastating bombings that is ACTUALLY quite sensitive. Always happy to be proven wrong – and I would always much prefer to see a good film more than a bad one.However, I don't think it's unreasonable to think that the man who made TRUE LIES and TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY would be a perfect fit for this story.And no, AVATAR is NOT a good example of a sensitive, character based film.

  5. I think that it would certainly be interesting to see if Cameron could pull it off. I think that he would be able to write the budget for such a film so surely he would be able to get those on board to help with the sensitivity aspect of it.I think if he goes for the character and story side of things rather than the "Hollywood-A-List" side then it would certainly serve him well. So I just might be a fence sitter on this one until more details are nutted out

  6. Of course, this project most likely ISN'T happening any more, but I think the debate still stands. Can Cameron handle a sensitive subject like this?

  7. i think pre-TITANIC, this would've been a fair argument. if the idea is that cameron can't handle subtlety, i wouldn't use AVATAR as the basis for my argument. i'd go further back to his own early beliefs that he can't write properly good dialogue. it's always been his kryptonite, and he knows it.i think the more important question is whether or not cameron can WRITE a proper adaptation of this famous event. i don't have doubts about his abilites as a director. he can pull it off no problem.as for the PEARL HARBOR mention, are we really gonna compare james friggin cameron to michael fuckin bay?? c'mon simon, seriously. SERIOUSLY!

  8. Haha, OK, maybe the Pearl Harbour comment was a low-blow.I was just comparing the idea of handing a real-life tragedy to a blockbuster action director. I mean sure, the sinking of the Titanic was a tragedy, but it doesn't nearly equate to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

  9. no, the Titanic sinking can't really be compared to such a massive tragedy as the nuking of 2 cities. but knowing that cameron was able to pull off TITANIC — regardless of how little i find enjoyable about the film on repeat viewings — proves that he's not incapable of telling this story properly.another big question i have is language. would there be japanese in the movie? how would that play w/ cameron's usually-jargon-centric dialogue?

  10. So what you're really asking is, how do you say "Unobtanium" in Japanese?;-)

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