Cameron and Rodriguez bring Alita: Battle Angel to the big screen
The first trailer for Alita: Battle Angel came out of nowhere the other day, and the intriguing collaboration between James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez looks fun, to say the least. Adapted from the Japanese Manga by Yukito Kishiro, the trailer teases the well-worn tale of an artificial intelligence/robot/cyborg who finds humanity. I know absolutely nothing about the comics/Manga, so I’m not an authority you should trust to tell you if this is up your alley or not. Personally, I really like the tone of the trailer…and then it goes all anime crazy metal tentacles and menacing Ed Skrein robot on us, and I’m really not sure what to think anymore. My curiosity is piqued.
Check out the first trailer for 2018’s Alita: Battle Angel and learn a little more about the movie after the jump.
I’ve heard whispers of this property make their way into the “one of these days” rumors when people talk about directors and their passion projects. Nestled next to the Guillermo del Toro Lovecraft hopes, James Cameron has long said he’d bring Alita: Battle Angel to the big screen…someday…and he’s had the rights for the film for some time. Then, earlier this year, word made the rounds that production had begun, but it was later revealed that it wouldn’t be Cameron in the director’s chair. Sounds like Robert Rodriguez got a hold of Cameron’s script treatment, tidied it up a bit, and got Cameron’s nod of approval on the final draft. So, Cameron is producing, and Rodriguez is directing, which would have been a pairing made in action movie heaven back in the ’90s.
The trailer is causing some uncanny valley dissonance in viewers due to Alita’s anime-infused facial features, and it’s definitely strange to see her on-screen and interacting with humans. That in and of itself sounds silly to say, but it’s hard not to separate the live-action elements and the digitally enhanced animated strangeness. I’m optimistic, not knowing anything about the Manga, but I’m also wary about what could be a cut-and-paste plot. Plenty of sci-fi films have played with the concept, and I immediately thought of recent entries like Automata, Ex Machina, Ghost in the Shell, or even the Robocop reboot. Here’s hoping Alita: Battle Angel will be more than a retreading in shiny new armor.
Out of the loop like I am? Here’s the official plot synopsis for Alita: Battle Angel:
Set several centuries in the future, the abandoned Alita is found in the scrapyard of Iron City by Ido, 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, 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 stars Rosa Salazar, Jennifer Connelly, Christoph Waltz, Mahershala Ali, Eiza González, Michelle Rodriguez, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeff Fahey, Ed Skrein, and Casper Van Dien. The movie makes its way to theaters on July 20, 2018.