James Cameron's Dream Project 'Battle Angel Alita' Finds a New Director

James Cameron's Dream Project 'Battle Angel Alita' Finds a New Director

Oct 14, 2015

Battle Angel Alita

Even if you don't like James Cameron's movies, there is no denying he is an absolute pioneer; an innovator and a boundary pusher who has earned the rare luxury of taking his sweet time on getting the movies he wants to make off the ground without compromises. And for a long time in his career, there were two projects he wanted to make but just felt the technology wasn't quite ready yet.

One of them was his original creation Avatar and the other a live-action adaptation of a manga called Battle Angel Alita. As we all know, Avatar is now in the history books as the highest grossing movie of all time. And while for a bit it seemed like Cameron would then pivot to Battle Angel Alita, that never happened. Cameron is working on approximately five hundred simultaneous Avatar sequels in its place, but instead of keeping Battle Angel on ice, he has decided to let someone else take the helm.

Deadline is reporting that James Cameron and his producing partner Jon Landau have hired Robert Rodriguez (Sin City) to direct the project, which will be going under the new title of Alita: Battle Angel. So why has the movie taken so dang long to get going? The Wikipedia plot is a good starting point:

Battle Angel Alita tells the story of Alita ("Gally" in the original Japanese version), an amnesiac female cyborg. Her intact head and chest, in suspended animation, are found by cybermedic expert Daisuke Ido in the local dump. Ido manages to revive her, and finding she has lost her memory, names her Alita after his deceased cat. The rebuilt Alita soon discovers that she remembers the legendary martial art Panzer Kunst, although she does not recall anything else. Alita uses her Panzer Kunst to first become a mercenary Hunter-Warrior, killing cyborg criminals in the Scrapyard, and then as a player in the brutal sport of Motorball. While in combat, Alita awakens memories of her earlier life on Mars. She becomes involved with the floating city of Tiphares as one of their agents, and is sent to hunt criminals down. Foremost is the mad genius Desty Nova, who clashes with Alita before becoming her ally.

Cyborgs, futuristic sports, Mars colonies, and floating cities? Yeah, that doesn't exactly sound cheap or easy to pull off. Cameron has faith that Rodriguez can deliver the goods, though. Giving this quote to Deadline about his hiring:

"This project is near and dear to me, and there’s nobody I trust more than Robert, with his technical virtuosity and rebel style, to take over the directing reins. We’re looking forward to learning a lot from each other while we make a kick-ass epic.”

There's still no time frame for when Alita: Battle Angel will hit theaters, so it's entirely possible that the project hits yet another snag and gets tossed back onto Cameron's personal development pile. But for now it seems like this movie might finally happen.


Categories: News, In Development, Sci-Fi
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