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

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


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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Avatar image for gintoki

They better stick to the source mats and this better be drawn and not more of that horrid live action/cg shit they have been ruining anime and manga titles with.

Avatar image for Holy-Rapture

Unnecessary name change. Hopefully Rodriguez listens closely to Cameron, definitely need some more BAA in my life

Avatar image for grimcrotch

why would james cameron do a cartoon anyway. thats like clint eastwood stepping down mid height of his career to play fred in sanford & son.

Avatar image for marc55

@grimcrotch: ?

cartoon ? which one ?

Avatar image for maltnut

Oh dear sweet gods yes! Finally! I've been waiting for this since I first heard James Cameron was planning on doing this over a decade ago. ....ooooohhhh yeah.

Avatar image for patsfan

Meh, at worst way re do it as an Anime with great production values, liveaction though lol please just leave the **** alone. Here's an idea Hollywood, why not re-make the re-make of Robocop eh ffs.

Avatar image for Dark_Wr4ith

Well it took James Cameron 12 years to basically cross Pocahontas with the Matrix. So I'll pass on the next few Avatar movies thanks.

Avatar image for pointingmonkey

@Dark_Wr4ith: Not really sure how you can say James Cameron ripped off The Matrix, when he wrote the treatment for Avatar around 95, and had planned to make the film instead of Titanic. But upon realizing that the technology wasn't available, he put it on hold and made Titanic. So if the technology was available Avatar would have beaten The Matrix to the market by two years.

As for twelve years to make Avatar, it went from pre-production to release in four years.

Avatar image for pointingmonkey

Although I really want to see this film. I'm a little disappointed that Robert Rodriguez will be directing it. After reading the manga, all I kept thinking, was that it was made for James Cameron. A post apocalyptic futuristic world, a strong female lead and a tonne of action. It has James Cameron written all over it. Robert Rodriguez on the other hand hasn't made another film other than Sin City and From Dusk Till Dawn, that I've enjoyed enough to watch more than once. On top of the fact that James Cameron is only in the producers chair is not as great as James Cameron in the director/producer chair. Solaris is one of the worst films I've ever seen and that had Steven Soderbergh directing.

I wonder what Yukito Kishiro thinks about this, as he said that he would only be okay with James Cameron in the directors chair for a film adaptation.

Avatar image for PS2fweak

Both of these guys can make something worth watching, but they also have been known to do some bullshit. Hopefully the source material will keep them on point and put them at their best. This is definitely interesting though.

Avatar image for wkadalie

@PS2fweak: Robert Rodriguez only makes good movies when he partners with Tarantino. Sin City 2 was lame.

Avatar image for Die_Bahn

@wkadalie: That is disappointing to hear. I wanted to see it!

Avatar image for wkadalie

@Die_Bahn: Avatar is an amazing movie for effects and action alone. if you haven't seen it you should.

Avatar image for PS2fweak

@wkadalie: Yeah, I couldn't believe how disappointed I was in that movie. It's like he wasn't inspired at all. Maybe him being together with Cameron will make him try harder.

Avatar image for wkadalie

@PS2fweak: Cameron isn't co directing though. Only producing. So it falls to Robert Rodriguez. Can't be worse than Sharkboy and Lava girl I guess.

Avatar image for PS2fweak

@wkadalie: I just mean he might feel obligated to do a better job because Cameron is on the project. People can think what they want about him, but James Cameron is definitely one of the important guys in Hollywood. Rodriguez probably has a ton of respect and appreciation, so I'm hoping he will want to make him proud, if you get what I'm saying.

Avatar image for wkadalie

@PS2fweak: It's like you said, even Cameron has made mistakes. Avatar looked great but story wise it was some what lacking. I doubt Rodriguez will do better just because Cameron is on boarded. I'm surprised Cameron would even team up with him.