Alita: Battle Angel is a project James Cameron had been trying to direct for years, but since he’s occupied with filming the goings on at Planet Catsex, he’s handed over the directing duties to Sin City‘s Robert Rodriguez. When the first trailer dropped last Friday, one question raised by many people boiled down to, “What the hell is up with her eyes?”
To be fair, the character in the manga and anime Battle Angel Alita is supposed to be immediately recognizable as not human, and boy howdy do those eyes accomplish that. Nonetheless, it’s definitely a choice, and one which Rodriguez is probably going to be asked a lot of questions about. He’s already been posed that question by EMPIRE, answering:
It was always [James Cameron]’s intention to create a photo-realistic version of the manga eyes that we’re so accustomed to seeing. We really wanted to honor that tradition and see that look standing next to any human character. To have the right person to emote behind it was really essential. Her origins are in the film and you understand why she looks that way. If the eyes are the windows to the soul, we have some pretty big windows. You can see a lot going on in there! When it gets to the emotional scenes it’s really uncanny and striking. And captivating!