Entertainment Weekly recently confirmed James Cameron's next movie: Project 880. During a recent chat with the director, the manazine found out that Battle Angel, based on Yukito Kishiro's Japanese graphic novels, will not be Cameron's next project as previously speculated, but instead will be a film known as Project 880 which plans to use motion-captured, CGI generated characters in leading roles.

What is Project 880? Don't ask Cameron: ''It's as classified,'' he says, ''as the Manhattan Project.'' (That secrecy hasn't stopped some industry observers from guessing that 880 is actually a version of Avatar, the director's oft-rumored love story set against interplanetary war.) Whatever it is, Cameron is ready to shoot 880 at Twentieth Century Fox �" where he's also preparing Battle Angel. Neither film has been completely cast, but 880 is now slated for '07 and Angel is set for '09. ''We couldn't do one unless we do both,'' says Cameron. ''They use the same technology.''

Cameron is using realistic-looking motion-capture techniques like those that made The Lord of the Rings' Gollum so eerily lifelike, and shooting both new movies in brand-spanking-new high-definition 3-D. The catch? If the movies are to be distributed in 3-D format, he hopes to have at least 1,000 theaters converted to digital projection. (You'll view high-def 3-D through an updated version of the old glasses, but regular 2-D will be available.) Don't take these release dates to the bank, however. ''We don't want to get jammed up like on Titanic,'' he says, refusing to rule out the possibility that Project 880 could move to 2008. ''The consensus has been we will serve no wine before its time.''

Cinemark Movie Club
Brian B.