James Cameron on his 'Hiroshima' movie -- due 'sometime before the next nuclear war'

james-cameronImage Credit: Michael Tullberg/Getty ImagesThe Avatar sequel is still several years away — “We’re in the early days of technical development,” James Cameron told EW during an interview last week in Santa Monica, where he was plugging the Aug. 27 3-D Avatar re-release (check out his Q&A in this week’s issue). But that’s not the only film on the director’s to-do list. Cameron is also quietly working on a serious, history-based movie that sounds like it could be his own Schindler’s List. It’s called Last Train from Hiroshima, and it’s about a Japanese man during World War II who miraculously survived the atomic blast at Hiroshima, got on a train to Nagasaki, and then survived the nuclear explosion in that city, as well.

“I met Yamaguchi, the survivor, just days before he died [earlier this year],” Cameron says. “He was in the hospital. He was sort of turning over the baton of his story to us, so I have to do it. I can’t turn away from that.”

Still, Cameron has a lot of questions to answer before he begins rolling cameras. “The issue is tonal,” he says. “Yeah, sure, I could forensically show you what it was like to be at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But you probably wouldn’t want to stay around for the back half of the movie. And then there’s the question of whether I do it in 3D. I’ve made blanket statement that all my movies are going to be in 3D from now on, but I couldn’t do this in 3D. It’d be too sensationalistic.” How long before he solves these problems and makes the movie? Is it possible it could be in theaters before Avatar’s sequel? Cameron isn’t sure. “I’d like to do it sometime before the next nuclear war,” is all he’ll commit to.

What do you think PopWatchers? What would you rather see Cameron make first, an Avatar sequel or a serious drama about nuclear war?

For more from James Cameron, read our Q&A with the Oscar-winning director in the issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands Aug. 13.

More James Cameron:
This week’s cover: James Cameron reveals plans for an ‘Avatar’ sequel
James Cameron calls BP ‘morons’

Guillermo del Toro and James Cameron in negotiations to direct/produce ‘At the Mountains of Madness’

‘Avatar:’ 11 Burning Questions

Comments (82 total) Add your comment
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  • td

    What a tool.

    • Joe

      What about Battle Angel? Isn’t that one coming before Avatar 2?

      • UGH

        Several years away?
        What a way to waste a time window there, Jimmy.
        I’d rather see you put your energy into Battle Angel and forget about transforming Titanic into 3D and rereleasing the original Avatar with extra footage.
        Money hungry dope.

      • Duncan

        I agree with td(I’m just going to call you Truman Dratchel. It’s a cool name). James Cameron is such a tool. How difficult is it to say, this is the schmaltzy movie I’m going to make next?

    • jp

      well said, Td.

  • Joe

    Let me guess… Americans = BAD!!!

    • Kim

      Uhm… yeah? Since you guys dropped the bomb and everything.

      • Christian

        Fair payment since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor spawned a Michael Bay film

      • tipsy

        Lmao @ Christian! Best retirt ever!

        So true too. That movie was a crime against humanity.

      • The Truth

        Don’t start a fight with someone then cry that they pummeled you. Sneak attack, death marches, testing chemical weapons on civilians and POW’s, high ranking officers authorizing execution of POW’s to avenge losses and arming civilian population to fight to the death to name a few. At what point would you take the gloves off?

      • Matt

        @ The Truth: I’d ‘take the gloves off’ on the Japanese soldiers, not mulitple generations of Japanes civilians. There’s a huge difference.

      • Quirky

        @Christian, shouldn’t we drop Michael Bay on Hiroshima then?

      • The Truth

        @Matt, read up on factual history. Those civilians you are referring to were being armed and trained, including children, to kill Allies. Would you rather have them die by conventional munitions alongside with many many more people on both sides? So your solution is invasion against a country that was ready to kill itself to defend their honor?

      • donknottz

        So who can we bomb for Transformers 2?

      • Huh?

        Are we forgetting that Truman’s purpose for dropping the bombs was not to get revenge or end the war– it was to show off America’s new toy to the Soviets. The Japanese were trying to start negotiations for surrender when the bombs dropped.

      • calvin

        @The Truth: Total death toll from Pearl Harbour: 2,402; Total death toll from Hiroshima and Nagasaki: est. 200,000. Don’t you dare compare the two.

      • J

        Dropping the bomb prevented an invasion that would have killed MANY, MANY more Japanese, as well as many Americans. Also, by that time 200,000 people were dying from hunger every MONTH in the Japanese-occupied parts of Asia. Blame the Japanese government for not surrendering, not the American government for putting a stop to the damn thing.

      • jeremy

        Considering the alternative, 200,000 deaths was the better option. If America hadn’t dropped those bombs, the death toll would have likely reached into the millions, with many of those being civilian deaths, if we would have had to invade.

      • James

        @Matt. Yes, selective targeting and avoiding the civilian population is the way to go. It has worked so wonderfully in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    • Sam

      They are on some degree

  • pastafarian

    Depends on which James Cameron we get. White Light/Black Rain is a fantastic, yet horrific documentary about Atomic bombings of Japan. This could be his Schindler’s List, or his Life is Beautiful.

  • josef

    so full of himself.

  • Ray

    Suppose he’ll have it ready in the next 2 years so..

  • Mathieu

    I’m amazed he’s still doing this – wasn’t that book and its author widely discredited?

    • Anna

      yes.

      • Ap

        Really…I loved that book in high school. I’m still shocked that I read and remembered it.

    • jcarla

      The book was but the man at the center of the story has had his story checked.

  • Bubba

    Avatar sequels second and Last
    Train From Hiroshima first.

  • James

    Umm…what’s with all the hatred? The man’s got serveral important projects to do. He probably knows exactly what he wants to do next, he just doesn’t want it go get out right away. Ray, movies like this take a long time to make. Shocking revelation, I know.

    • nodnarb

      Every time they post something about James Cameron, people crawl out the woodwork to call him an egotist or whatever. Nothing in this post sounds remotely condescending or self-absorbed. In fact, his remarks about 3D sound quite reasonable. Bashing James Cameron at this point has become a cliche.

      • el

        Oh, please. Cameron is a self-obsessed douche — and yeah, he quotes himself in the interview, plus he says he’s basically got to do it since he was deemed the filmmaker of choice by the guy on his deathbed! Self-absorbed? Hell yeah.

      • nodnarb

        LOL! He doesn’t say that at all… “turning over the baton” isn’t even remotely close to “deemed filmmaker of choice.” But that’s the problem with irrational douchecanoes like yourself, you twist everything to support your personal agenda.

      • Nathan

        The guy’s only crime is that he makes great movies that receive both critical acclaim and tons of bank, it’s simply jealousy that fuels these comments against him.

      • Courtney

        @Nathan, “critical acclaim” is debatable. Not with all his films, but with many.

      • BlackIrish4094

        Cameron has become a cliche so it’s only fair.

      • Ian

        The best part about the internet trolls who are obsessed with him and come out to bash him at ever mention of his name , is that they all have paid money to see his films, and Cameron doesn’t give 2 squirts about their criticism or the money he got from them.

  • jrkinsella

    Parts of the book of the same title were refuted, but they had to do mainly with the bombs themselves and not with this one guy’s story. He really was there and almost died twice. It would make a great movie, but it would be hard not to make the Japanese government of the time sympathetic.

  • tipsy

    Battle Angel Alita first!

  • DavidJ

    I loved Avatar, but have no real interest in seeing a sequel. I’d much rather see Cameron devote his time and energies to something new. And I’d be curious to see what a historical piece by him would be like.

  • BILL

    Cameron sux!

  • You suck

    All these people who just think its cool to bash JC just cuz its a trendy thing to do over internet, these are same morons who will be paying money to go see his movies as they come out!

    • tsw

      Uh, so everyone who pays to see his movies are morons? Get over yourself — why can’t people think he sucks? Which he does, of course.

      • Nathan

        Which movie do you think is his worst? Terminator, Terminator 2, True Lies, Aliens, The Abyss, Titanic or Avatar? Such bad movies right? Gimme a break. I’m not the biggest Cameron fan, but his work speaks for itself.

  • millie

    I don’t think James Cameron is the guy to do a Hiroshima movie — and the fact that his biggest issue about it seems to be “3D or not 3D” backs that up. He’s a good director but there’s something to be said for knowing your strengths.

  • movienick

    If u hate james cameron then ur not a true movie buff ur what i like call a movie idiot! Nolan, Cameron are 1 and 2 best directors in hollywood name two that are better… they make the movies they want to make the way they want to make them and they make tons of money and get oscars which is tuff do either its artsie and boring gets oscars or make tons money and dumb. cameron haters are idiots and dont now good movies if they hit them on the butt.

    • Jeremy DC

      I like James Cameron but Avatar sucked. Being that Avatar has been his only movie in the past thirteen years makes me wonder if he’s gone off the deep end. I think David Fincher and Darren Aronofsky are much better just to name a couple of younger filmmakers. There are many older ones too.

    • Hubert Binienda

      How about Ridly Scott? He is an awesome director and also Steven Spielberg.

    • Terry

      Well, you’re naming some popular directors, but directors I prefer over the ones you mention: Scorcese, Spielberg, DePalma, Spike Lee, Curtis Hanson(still think LA Confidential shoulda won over Titanic), Coppola, shoot ther are tons of directors that I prefer. The two you name have made some good films, but I’m kinda burned out on all the cgi superhero crap.

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