The Next Big Cyberpunk Movie: Alita, Battle Angel

Alita, Battle Angel is an upcoming Cyberpunk movie from producer James Cameron and Jon Landau (Titanic), with director Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, From Dusk Until Dawn). The screenplay is written by Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis (Altered Carbon), and takes its source material from Yukito Kishiro’s manga Gunnm (Battle Angel Alita). You may have seen the trailer to this movie in the theaters earlier this summer, when it was supposed to be released in July. However, its release was delayed until December of 2018, and then sadly further delayed to February 14th, 2019. The exact reason of these delays in release are unclear, but it seems like it has to do with Cameron’s conflict working on his Avatar sequels (he’s filming Avatar 2 and 3 right now, set to release December 2020 and December 2021, respectively). The other reason is because Fox decided to push back its release in order to make way for Deadpool 2’s PG-release that conflicted with the same release date. Personally, I have been looking forward to this movie release for a long time, so I was very sad to hear that they pushed it back even further, especially considering Deadpool 2 has already been out for a while.

I had never heard of the manga Battle Angel Alita before, but I must say,  the trailer for the movie looks excellent and very promising. Alita is a film about a cyborg who awakens with no memory of her past or who she is, in a world she doesn’t recognize. A compassionate doctor and scientist takes her in and tries to shield her from her past. However, the world comes beckoning when it becomes apparent that she has unique fighting abilities that are deemed very valuable. Her subsequent actions lead her on an adventure of hope and empowerment as she tries to survive and find her place in this new world.

The cast includes Christoph Waltz as Dr. Dyson Ido, Alita’s character and apparent father figure, and Rosa Salazar (Divergent series, Maze Runner series) as the titular cyborg heroine, portraying Alita with motion capture technology. Mahershala Ali and Jennifer Connelly were also cast. There had been some controversy with the first trailer release, namely centering on the complaint that Alita’s eyes in the trailer seemed too big with the CGI effect, making her seem unrealistic and off. However, I saw no problem with them at all, as the eyes serve as a subtle reminder that Alita is not completely human.

Fast-paced action including CGI effects and impressive choreography and martial arts, existential questions on the blurred line between human and machine, this movie looks very promising indeed and has a lot of elements that remind me of my all-time favorite film, The Matrix. None of which is more apparent than the cyberpunk dystopian setting the film is placed in, and the epic mirrorshades actor Mahershala Ali sports in the trailer.

Check out these trailers and see what you think. The first is the initial trailer that caused the original controversy, the second is improved in my opinion and tells a bit more.

Trailer 1

Trailer 2

 

 

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