Surprise! James Cameron To Direct Adventure-Mystery, The Informationist

Though he recently said himself that he’s “only in the Avatar business” these days, James Cameron has sprung a surprise and picked up a completely different, totally unexpected project to add to his directing slate. The Informationist is to be an adaptation of Taylor Stevens‘ novel, an action adventure caper with a central protagonist that The Hollywood Reporter compare to both Sherlock Holmes and Lisbeth Salander.

Producer Jon Landau makes the Salander comparison too:

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.

And Cameron had his own comments on the heroine to share as well:

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.

The plan is to get Avatars 2 and 3 done first, then to tackle The Informationist. Cameron and Landau are looking for a writer now – presumably Jim is too busy with the Avatars and Stevens doesn’t want to do it herself.

So what happens now to Battle Angel? Who knows. Avatar 4? Still seems pretty inevitable to me.

The Informationist already has a sequel novel, The Innocent, and it’s not entirely ridiculous to assume that adapting that one will end up on Cameron’s to-do list some day too.

This blurb for The Informationist is written in the first-person voice of lead character Vanessa Michael Munroe:

I can sense your fear, hear the lie in your voice, know your weakness and will exploit it. I am a chameleon and a hunter. Have lived in eighteen countries, carry passports from three and speak twenty-two languages. I’ve killed more than once–not exactly what you’d expect from a child born to missionary parents in West Africa, but I’ve done what it takes to survive.

Work that has brought me through some of the world’s most hazardous countries has finally led me home, and here, searching for answers into the disappearance of an American teenager, I have become the hunted. Left for dead, the only way I will survive is by returning to the history that made me what I am. My name is Michael Munroe, and this is my story.

Smells like half a dozen casting shortlist stories just waiting to happen. So… we’ve got that “to look forward to.” What it doesn’t smell of is a huge, record breaking blockbuster of the scale of Titanic or Avatar, not that it should.

I think Cameron’s great, and I care less about what he’s making, more that he cares about what he’s making. The prospect of him bringing his love of cutting-edge technique to something ostensibly more grounded than a Pandora party seems potentially interesting, though.