Yesterday, movie peeps were buzzing with the news that James Cameron's long-time collaborator Charles Pellegrino was in some pretty big non-fiction hot water. Variety reports that publication of the book The Last Train from Hiroshima* was halted by numerous questions of the book's facts.

It all started with the revelation that he was misled by one interviewee who claimed to have been in one of the planes flying with the Enola Gay (the plane that dropped the bomb on Hiroshima), but then more doubts surfaced about a Father Mattias, and publisher Henry Holt and Company said: "Unfortunately, Mr. Pellegrino was not able to answer the additional questions that have arisen about his book to our satisfaction." No more copies will be made, and those who have purchased the book may get their money back if they wish.

Beyond the questions of his facts (compounded by questions about his claimed PhD and previous non-fiction works), he's been working with Cameron for a while. He served as an "adviser" on Avatar, while the popular director wrote introductions for two of Pellegrino's books, plus a blurb for Hiroshima. However, more importantly for Cameron, he was looking to bring The Last Train from Hiroshima to the big screen -- a move I was quite excited for.

Now, the questions becomes: What will happen in the wake of this controversy? Will Cameron feel duped and be done with the author? Will he just back off this Hiroshima-based deal and focus solely on an Avatar sequel? If their friendship survives, he could always take this "non-fiction" book and turn it into a compelling fictional account of the bombing. Or should the train just be stopped before it picks up steam?

*This seems to be a changein title from the previous Last Train to Hiroshima.
categories Cinematical