James Cameron has been working on a potential adaptation of the manga “Battle Angel Alita” for close to 15 years now. While he always pegged it as his next project after he finishes work on his 3(!) Avatar sequels, many never thought he would actually get around to it, myself included. Well, it turns out we were wrong, but only to a certain degree. The project is finally happening and Cameron is still involved, but he will no longer be directing. Helmsman duties have instead been turned over to none other than Robert Rodriguez!
“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. 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.”
Set up at Fox, the project is now moving forward again with Rodriguez directing and Cameron attached to produce. It has also be re-titled as Alita: Battle Angel. The project has an existing script penned by Laeta Kalogridis, but I can only awesome it will be re-written now that Rodriguez is collaborating on the project. No release date has been set, which comes as no surprise, given that Rodriguez still has a few projects on his plate (namely Johnny Quest and a small untitled film). Cameron is also extremely busy, as he is still knee-deep in pre-production for Avatar 2-4, which will all be shot back-t0-back and presumably released consecutively across three years from 2017-2019. It’s hard to tell how soon this film will happen or if it is meant to launch a franchise. When we know, you will. In the meantime, check out The Hollywood Reporter for more words on the project from Cameron and Rodriguez.