James Cameron still making ‘Battle Angel Alita’ whether we like it or not

Deputy Entertainment Editor
10.14.15

James Cameron has long wanted to turn the Japanese manga “Battle Angel Alita” into a film and/or franchise, but other projects kept getting in the way. Specifically “Avatar.” But now it appears the cyborg option is back on the table. Deadline is reporting that Cameron is in talks with Robert Rodriguez to director the live-action adaptation.

Yes. The director of such sci-fi classics as “Spy Kids” and “Machete Kills.”

If you grew up in the 1990s and fell into the manga pit – courtesy of easily accessible gateway anime on Carton Network – it didn”t take long for you to find “Battle Angel Alita.” Probably while perusing the manga section of your local Borders book store.

However! If you weren”t part of this niche group, a little background. “Battle Angel Alita” was a manga written in 1990 by Yukio Kishiro and the original series ran until 1995. The story was set in a dystopian 26th century America where society had stratified into two parts: the floating city of Tiphares and the wasteland below known as the Scrapyard. I”ll let you guess where the rich people live.

It is into this world that Alita is dropped; a cyborg with amnesia rescued from a giant trash pile by Daisuke Ido. As Ido happens to be a cybermedic, he heals Alita and a friendship forms as they attempt to jog her memory and unravel her past. Shenanigans ensue.

There was no word if Cameron still plans to use the script written by Laeta Kalogridis years ago – though her IMDB page still lists her as the official author of the screenplay. The “Avatar” creator seemed enthusiastic about his choice of “Alita: Battle Angel” director:

“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.”

What do you guys think of this choice?

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