After deciding to focus all of his attention on Pandora with his four-planned Avatar sequels, James Cameron handed over directing duties on his long-planned adaptation of the manga Battle Angel Alita to Robert Rodriguez back in 2015.
Rodriguez now deep in post-production on the movie – titled Alita: Battle Angel – ahead of its February 2019 release, and the Sin City and Machete helmer has been chatting to THR about the film and how he’s hoping he can live up to Cameron’s expectations.
“My job was to go make what he created come to life so that he wouldn’t have to, because he was going to be busy with Avatar, because otherwise, we’d never see this movie,” said Rodriguez. “The last thing I wanted was him to watch it and go, ‘Uh, damn it, I knew I should have shot it myself.’ So I wanted him to feel like it was a Jim Cameron movie, too.”
Rodriguez also touched upon the challenges of a rare foray into the world of big budget ($200 million, apparently) blockbuster filmmaking, particularly when he’s used to having full creative freedom on his projects.
““I knew it was going to be a challenge to do a much bigger movie. I usually don’t do movies beyond a certain budget. I thought if I can keep it under a certain budget, if I just make it look good, I’m going to cast who I want, do whatever I want. I like living there.”
Are you looking forward to Alita: Battle Angel? Are you disappointed that Cameron isn’t directing the movie, having been attached to it for the best part of 20 years? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…
Visionary filmmakers James Cameron (AVATAR) and Robert Rodriguez (SIN CITY) create a groundbreaking new heroine in ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL, an action-packed story of hope, love and empowerment. Set several centuries in the future, the abandoned Alita (Rosa Salazar) is found in the scrapyard of Iron City by Ido (Christoph Waltz), a compassionate cyber-doctor who takes the unconscious cyborg Alita to his clinic. When Alita awakens she has no memory of who she is, nor does she have any recognition of the world she finds herself in. Everything is new to Alita, every experience a first. As she learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield Alita from her mysterious past while her street-smart new friend, Hugo (Keean Johnson), offers instead to help trigger her memories. A growing affection develops between the two until deadly forces come after Alita and threaten her newfound relationships. It is then that Alita discovers she has extraordinary fighting abilities that could be used to save the friends and family she’s grown to love. Determined to uncover the truth behind her origin, Alita sets out on a journey that will lead her to take on the injustices of this dark, corrupt world, and discover that one young woman can change the world in which she lives.
Alita: Battle Angel is set for release on February 14th 2019 and features a cast that includes Rosa Salazar (Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials), Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained), Michelle Rodriguez (The Fate of the Furious), Keean Johnson (Nashville), Jackie Earle Haley (Preacher), Jennifer Connelly (American Pastoral), Ed Skrein (Deadpool), Eiza Gonzalez (From Dusk Till Dawn), Mahershala Ali (Luke Cage), Lana Condor (X-Men: Apocalypse) and Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Spider-Man: Homecoming).