Once James Cameron fully committed to making three more sequels to Avatar, the writing was on the wall he’d never make Battle Angel. An adaptation of the popular manga which he had shot test-footage for during post-production on the first Avatar, yeah that long ago. He and producers kept fires lit concerning the project, but it was obvious that Cameron would be way too busy to every tackle it.
Jim even wore a Battle Angel tee while shooting Avatar.
20th Century Fox has sent out an official press release, naming Robert Rodriguez as the project’s new director. It even includes quotes from both Jim and Robert about the reasoning behind them getting together to make it.
“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.”
Added Robert Rodriguez: “Battle Angel is an incredibly rich and vibrant epic in the tradition of Jim Cameron’s spectacular, character-driven films. 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, whose films have impacted me for decades.”
I’m just curious if this means Robert will be ditching Johnny Quest, as the director is more famous for attaching himself to high-profile projects, rather than actually making them. All we have to do is look at his exits on projects like Red Sonja, The Jetsons, and Barbarella. I say this as a fan of Rodriguez, but I’ll be shocked if he actually ends-up making this.
I hope to see that James Cameron’s standards are met as a producer, when it comes to the digital effects and direction, Robert is known to make some really terrible films. Just look at stuff like Shorts and his own movies geared towards kids, not the best stuff from him.
Set in the 26th century, Alita: Battle Angel tells the story of Alita, an amnesiac female cyborg who is rescued from a scrapyard by a doctor. The rebuilt Alita, remembering only her training in a deadly martial art, becomes a hunter-warrior, tracking down and eliminating vicious criminals. Within the context of an epic action-adventure, the film will explore a young woman’s journey of self-discovery and finding love.
Battle Angel is one of the more badass mangas out there, like Akira and Ghost In The Shell, and could become a franchise property. We know how dedicated Fox has become to making science fiction movies lately, so it’s no surprise they wanted this put into production with or without James Cameron.
A script has been in place since around 2010, but I’m curious if that will get a few more drafts before production begins.