James Cameron has begun to think about life after his two "Avatar" sequels -- and it includes making a movie from a female-driven novel called "The Informationist."
Cameron's production company, Lightstorm Entertainment, has optioned the rights to the debut book by Taylor Stevens, with plans for Cameron to direct it for 20th Century Fox, Lightstorm announced Tuesday.
A thriller set in Africa, "The Informationist" follows Vanessa Munroe, a researcher hired to help find the missing daughter of a Texas oil billionaire. The book is the first in a planned seven-part series, and critics have compared its lead character with another hyper-capable heroine, Lisbeth Salander of Stieg Larsson's "Millennium" series.
"This is one of the most cinematic books I’ve ever read," said Jon Landau, Cameron's producing partner. "And it's got all the classic Jim Cameron elements -- a female protagonist who is smart, physically adept and skilled, great action, an unexpected love story."
Landau said Cameron found the book himself -- "Jim is a reading sponge" -- and will hire a screenwriter to adapt it while he's in production on the "Avatar" sequels.
"The writing process, the perfect time to do that is when you’re in production on something else," Landau said. "You need the relief during the process of making a movie like 'Avatar' where you can escape on a weekend and read a draft."
Landau declined to say when the "Avatar" follow-ups would start shooting but said some aspects of pre-production had begun.
"We don't have a shooting script, but we have a direction we're going in," he said.