When the teaser trailer for James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez’s long-awaited Alita: Battle Angel dropped last December, many were left with the same question: “What’s with her eyes?” Based on the popular manga and anime series Battle Angel Alita, Rodriguez later explained that it was always Cameron’s “intention to create a photo-realistic version of the manga eyes that we’re so accustomed to seeing” in the genre’s traditional artwork. Even so, the look left many stumped, and while the latest trailer for the film seems to have resized the character’s trademark look somewhat, the big eyes are still there.
Which is totally fine, because this time 20th Century Fox is finally digging into the story underpinning Alita: Battle Angel. The two and a half-minute trailer digs into the film’s futuristic narrative, which follows Alita’s (Rosa Salazar) quest to regain her memories and her life after Ido (Christoph Waltz) salvages her from the wreck of a long-forgotten war:
As Alita learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield her from her mysterious history while her street-smart new friend Hugo (Keean Johnson) offers instead to help trigger her memories. But it is only when the deadly and corrupt forces that run the city come after Alita that she discovers a clue to her past — she has unique fighting abilities that those in power will stop at nothing to control. If she can stay out of their grasp, she could be the key to saving her friends, her family and the world she’s grown to love.
Though Jennifer Connelly’s Chiren was heavily featured in the teaser trailer, this preview leans into Mahershala Ali’s villainous Vector and associates like Ed Skrein’s Zapan, most of whom are wholly CGI or a combination of special effects and on-camera performances. Look for Cameron and Rodriguez’s CGI slug-fest in theaters Friday, December 21st.