The Alita: Battle Angel Prop That James Cameron Demanded To Own

There aren't many creators in Hollywood whose movies can rival James Cameron's from a design standpoint. From the period opulence of Titanic to the pre-apocalyptic grit and neon of Los Angeles in The Terminator to the groundbreaking CGI effects in The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and Avatar, the sets, creatures, and weapons that Cameron and his production teams have dreamed up for his films have few equals.

This is true even when he's not directing the project, as with Alita: Battle Angel. Cameron's first registered interest in making a film version of the Battle Angel Alita manga came way back in 2000, according to the Anime News Network, but work on his documentaries and eventually on Avatar and its sequels kept the film in production limbo for nearly two decades before he finally passed the helm to Robert Rodriguez, remaining on-board as a producer and co-writer.

Alita: Battle Angel was released in 2019 and won praise for its effects and designs, notably the title character's Berserker body and the cyborgs she fights throughout the movie. But for Cameron, there was one element of the film that was so well-done, and so close to his heart as a fan of the property, that he decided he had to have it.

What's in James Cameron's prop collection?

"For Alita, I demanded the Damascus Blade," Cameron told BBC Radio 1 about Alita's signature weapon. "I was taking it out of there that day when I visited the set. They had to prise it from my hand." Whether he got it that day or not, the sword did end up in his private collection, though he concedes that his is one of several made for the film.

So what else makes the cut for Cameron's personal collection? It's hardly just small mementos one can sneak past security on the last day. Apparently the way to Cameron's heart is through a giant mech suit. "I have the actual Queen and power loader, full-size, from Aliens," he said, which must make for a really cool way to play with your action figures at home. In addition, he kept one of Avatar's AMP suits, the multi-functional exoskeleton used by the human military on Pandora. No word on whether it sits next to one of the Harrier Jump Jets from True Lies, but when you're James Cameron, that's apparently the sort of scale you can work on.

But there's at least one other, more personal item in his collection, one that wouldn't be quite as useful fending off killer cyborgs or giant aliens: the ship's wheel from Titanic. "It's always good to remember what it feels like to be the captain of a doomed ship," he said. "I feel like that on every film."