Avatar, Sin City Directors Bringing Acclaimed Manga Battle Angel: Alita to Big Screen

"We're already like two kids building a go-kart."

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James Cameron has been working on the sequel to his sci-fi blockbuster Avatar for several years now, as well as suggesting that there may be no fewer than three further films to come in the series. This has left a question mark over his other potential projects, most notably his adaptation of Japanese manga classic Battle Angel: Alita. Now Cameron has confirmed that the film is still to happen, but with a different director.

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Variety have reported that Cameron will hand the project to Sin City and From Dusk Till Dawn director Robert Rodriguez, but will still produce the movie, now titled Alita: Battle Angel. “Robert and I have been looking for a film to do together for years, so I was pumped when he said he wanted to do Battle Angel," Cameron said in a statement. "He's very collaborative and we're already like two kids building a go-kart, just having fun riffing creatively and technically.

"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."

Rodriguez added: "Getting to work from Jim's terrific and visionary script while learning the cutting edge techniques he's pioneered is a master class in filmmaking. It's an honor to explore the world of Alita along with Jim and Jon [Landau, also producing], whose films have impacted me for decades."

Battle Angel: Alita is the futuristic story of an amnesiac cyborg who becomes a deadly bounty hunter. It was first published in 1990, and ran for nine volumes until 1995. In 1993, a two-episode anime version was produced, which adapted the first two volumes of the manga.

In 2009, Cameron spoke about how Avatar's pioneering effects work could pave the way for the Battle Angel: Alita movie. "It's good to have done Avatar first, before Battle Angel," he told MTV at the time. "Because the tricky scenes are where you're blending live-action photography, stereoscopic photography, and CG.

"We have a very good script and we've done a lot of production design. We've done about a year of production design and we've put together an art reel that shows the arc of the film."

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