James Cameron Producing ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ with Robert Rodriguez Directing

James Cameron Producing 'Alita: Battle Angel,'
Rex Shutterstock

20th Century Fox has set James Cameron and Jon Landau to produce a live-action movie version of “Alita: Battle Angel” with Robert Rodriguez in negotiations to direct.

The movie is based on the Japanese manga and graphic novel series “Battle Angel Alita” by Yukito Kishiro, first published in 1990. The story is set in the 26th century and centers on the title character — an amnesiac female cyborg who is rescued from a scrapyard by a doctor, who names her after his deceased cat. The rebuilt Alita, remembering only her training in a deadly martial art, becomes a hunter-warrior, tracking down and eliminating vicious criminals.

The film will explore a young woman’s journey of self-discovery and finding love.

“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. “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 said in a statement: “’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.”

Rodriguez’ directing credits include “El Mariachi,” “Desperado,” “Once Upon a Time in Mexico,” “From Dusk till Dawn,” “Sin City” and the Spy Kids films.

Cameron and Landau, who will produce for Fox under their Lightstorm Entertainment banner, are also currently in pre-production on the three “Avatar” sequels

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  1. Dan Jimosse says:

    I was just as disappointed as anyone else that one of my fave directors is kind of soft passing off one of my fave stories to another director – i was also at first very critical of Robert Rodriguez’s work until I realized he has also put out a bunch of movies I also enjoyed a great deal. Plus Cameron has not exactly stepped away from the project if anything he has gained the most experienced assistant co-director he has ever worked with to date. I think we all have a lot to look forward to as fans.

  2. If they show how Gally/Alita’s “berserker” body was originally male but reshaped to fit her mind, I wonder if people will tout her as “a prominent transgender character”….

    • Harley Mace says:

      You’re wrong. The berserker body was configurable and was not either male or female since it was made up of nano-machines. It was then configured to be female for Gally by Ido. There is a male clone of Gally however, named Six, who chose to have a male body instead. So there is a male “Gally” running around who is indeed trans gender.

  3. Laurent says:

    WTF is wrong with Cameron ??!!!!

    Rodriguez is just one of the worst choice i’ve ever seen for a film like that !!!!

    How can he show Gally (and no Allita, like the american version :p ) as a complex characters ? He is not able to do that for me…

    A disaster and the completion of a big dream for me :(

  4. Duder NME says:

    If this doesn’t work out, it could be rebooted as “Gunnm”.

    “Robert and I have been looking for a film to do together for years”

    Now that’s surprising. I thought JimCam only talked to whales.

  5. dave says:

    don’t forget about Avatar james

  6. cadavra says:

    The industry’s most free-spending producer/director teaming with its most frugal filmmaker? No way this ends well.

  7. Will US directors ever get the hint that by and large Hollywood doesn’t understand Japanese anime/manga and they more than likely will never understand it so they should leave it alone. Most of the US live action films or others based on anime/manga were horrible….e.g. Astro Boy, Speed Racer, etc.

    • Branko Burcksen says:

      You forget the Japanese are not much better at adapting anime/manga either. See Attack on Titan.

      • In anything, I guess, regardless of region producers/creators/directors will have a misstep or two…or several and most times they happen in all in the same film or project. Yeah, I have to agree that Attack on Titan had a lot of major problems, especially within the writing and even though I have seen all of season one of the anime (and working my way through the manga soon) I have my own disappoints which I’m sure many fans of AoT share and that is “WHERE THE HECK WAS CAPT. LEVI??!!!” A HUGE major character got dumped and I really don’t understand the reason for that decision of the producers/director. I heard too that the live-action of Death Note was also a hot mess which is another disappointment to fans of that franchise. I haven’t gotten around to finish watching the anime series but will soon.
        I case to play devil’s advocate a little, it’s not an easy task to make an adaptation from one medium to the next. With manga, and to an even greater degree, novels or other literary works, to adapt those into a visual form the person doing the adaptive script for the film or anime has to first read the original source material to get a handle on what it’s about, then figure out what things within the story that could be worked and look good visually. Manga to anime it’s pretty easy because the manga artwork could be used as storyboards for the anime, that is of course if the production, live-action or anime is going to be a straight up adaptation. So parts of a manga may need to be dropped from the adaptation for any number of reasons. I just wish I knew what creative reason they had for dropping Levi’s character in the first place. From what I gathererthat was a major upset to many fans including yours truly.

  8. Brad says:

    Rodriguez is a terrible director, Unless you like that tacky – reused – cheap looking quality he excels at.

  9. Zapan777 says:

    This could be awesome or really awesome… depending on Rodriguez.

  10. Paul says:

    Yes please.

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