11:42am PT by Borys Kit, Andy Lewis
James Cameron to Direct 'The Informationist' (Exclusive)
Another strong woman has caught the eye of James Cameron.
The filmmaker, known for his tough female protagonists in movies ranging from Aliens to Terminator 2 to Dark Angel, has taken a shine to The Informationist, a novel by Taylor Stevens, whose main character has been compared to Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander.
The Hollywood Reporter has learned that Cameron and his Lightstorm Entertainment banner have picked up movie rights to the book, with the intent of developing an adaptation as a directing vehicle for Cameron at 20th Century Fox.
The move puts a project into development for the filmmaker after he vowed this year that he would only make Avatar movies. The aim now is to tackle Informationist after Cameron finishes the second and third installments of his mega-grossing franchise.
Informationist centers on Vanessa “Michael” Munroe, a woman born in central Africa who spent her teenage years as a protege of gunners and mercenaries. She reinvents herself as an information dealer for wealthy clients, but when a billionaire hires her to find his daughter who went missing in Africa, Munroe finds herself back in the Dark Continent.
The character has been described as an action heroine with shades of Salander and Sherlock Holmes.
The book was published by Crown in March 2011. A second book was released earlier this year.
Cameron will produce the project with his Lightstorm partner Jon Landau. The producers are out to writers and expect to hire one shortly.
“This was an opportunity to continue our relationship with Fox and Jim Gianopulos beyond the Avatar films," Landau said in a statement to THR. "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.”
Said Cameron: "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 writer-director of the two top-grossing movies of all time is working on his Avatar sequels, which he hopes to direct back-to-back. Earlier this year, he told The New York Times that he wasn’t developing any new projects and is only “in the Avatar business. Period. That’s it.”
Looks like Vanessa Munroe made him change his mind.
Cameron is repped by CAA, who also repped Taylor in the deal. The author is also repped by Anne Hawkins of John Hawkins & Associates Inc.