Unless you were furiously attempting to consume every bit of Japanese media you could get your hands on in the 90s, you may never have heard of Yukito Kishiro’s manga Battle Angel Alita. If you were me, the OVA (Original Video Animation) based on said manga was one of the only anime VHS tapes they had at your local Blockbuster (RIP) so you rented and watched it, even though you were maybe too young to be doing so.
Battle Angel Alita takes place in a post-apocalyptic 26th century and follows the journey of an amnesic cyborg named Alita, who is found in a scrapyard by a cybernetics doctor in the first chapter of the manga. After being rebuilt, Alita remembers nothing but her deadly martial arts training, leading her to become a Hunter Warrior, tracking down and eliminating criminals, whilst she endeavors to regain her lost memories.
Well apparently, in between directing three Avatar sequels back to back, James Cameron and his Lightstorm Entertainment producing partner, Jon Landau have found the time to start work on a live-action adaptation of Battle Angel Alita for Fox, with Robert Rodriguez (From Dusk Til Dawn, Sin City, Spy Kids) in the director’s chair.
“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.”
Robert Rodriguez said of the project: “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.”
There’s no denying James Cameron’s near perfect track record when it comes to films concerning butt-kicking cyborgs – and butt-kicking ladies. So if anyone’s going to bring Battle Angel to life on the big screen, he’s a pretty stellar choice.