A novel idea: James Cameron to pen Avatar prequel

WAIT! Don’t rush for your 3D glasses just yet.

A prequel to the impressive spectacle that is Avatar, is coming to a bookshop near you…

Fantastic news for the literary world – despite the unstoppable force of the cinema and cinematic technology, people still want to put pen to paper and write a good book. Publishers too will surely be hoping that the success of Avatar will infect the publishing industry.

Yet, is James Cameron’s next installment of the Pandora adventure a step in the wrong direction? From an innovative, 3D cinematic experience to a recycled paperback collecting dust in the sci-fi section of your local bookstore, this print-prequel won’t appease every movie-going fan.

Will the print-prequel captivate its movie-going fans, I’m unconvinced: I already know what Pandora looks like, I have already experienced it in three-dimensions, seeds falling from the Tree of Souls onto my very lap (well almost)…

Avatar

I already know too much. There is nothing better than reading something fresh that captivates your imagination, allowing your mind to transform the words on the page into meaningful images unique to your own experience of the text. I don’t doubt Cameron’s genius as a filmmaker, but I would be reading a vision that has already been realised by its writer, and I’m not confident that I can detach myself from that.

I’m a read-the-book-before-the-film kind of person, but many successful books have been made into films. And yes, you could watch the film, then read the book, and still take something valuable and refreshing away from it. But a film is a single vision – there is much less room for interpretation, the characters always look the same, no matter who is watching, and the setting never changes. With only one interpretation to work with, the imaginative power of the book may be limited. Dr. Grace Augustine will always be Alien-killing Sigourney Weaver in my mind…

Furthermore, the proposed novel will be a prequel, solely responsible for explaining the events which led to the original movieJames Cameron. Will a detailed delve into characters’ back stories really add anything of value to the film? Or is the print-prequel flirting with danger, explaining too much and relinquishing any mystery the film has.

Yet perhaps there is a certain method in his madness. Most film franchises start off as fantastic stand-alone films, only to be ruined by sequel, after prequel, after sequel. Perhaps his use of the novel is intended specifically to maintain the brilliance of the initial film in all its 3D glory! Although, talk of a trilogy looms…

I hesitate to conclude… then I surprise myself.

If I can’t read ‘Avatar: The Prequel’ with a pair of 3D glasses – then maybe I’ll just wait for the film…

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