Speaking to Total Film Magazine, Norton revealed that Cameron approached him about Avatar 2, but The Incredible Hulk star was not up for the destructive role that Cameron had in mind.
"I am friends with Jim [Cameron], and actually enormously admire and kind of adore him," he said "So when he wanted me to do something in Avatar 2, I basically told him, 'If I’m not a Na’vi, I’m not doing it. I’m not being part of the industrial world, coming in to destroy Pandora. I’m either a Na’vi or nothing.'"
He went on to discuss how Cameron actually connected him to Rodriguez. "He [Cameron] was like, 'OK, maybe in 3, 4 or 5, then.' In the meantime, he asked, 'Well, do you know Robert [Rodriguez]?' I was like, 'Whatever. Let’s do something. I want to do something with him.'"
Norton had a brief cameo in Alita: Battle Angel as Nova, an immortal mad scientist with the ability to transfer his conscience into other people. While his appearance hinted at a possible sequel to the sci-fi film, the movie's high price tag and mediocre box office run have put future installments in jeopardy.
Cameron co-wrote and co-produced Alita: Battle Angel and is currently directing Avatar 2, which he is also co-wrote.
Helmed by Robert Rodriguez, Alita: Battle Angel stars Rosa Salazar as Alita/99, Christoph Waltz as Dr. Dyson Ido, Keean Johnson as Hugo, Mahershala Ali as Vector, Jennifer Connelly as Dr. Chiren and Ed Skrein as Zapan. The film is currently available on 4K, Blu-ray, DVD and digital.
Written and directed by James Cameron, Avatar 2 stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore, Edie Falco, Kate Winslet, Oona Chaplin, Vin Diesel, Michelle Yeoh and David Thewlis. The film is slated to release on Dec. 18, 2020.