As James Cameron works away on his countless Avatar sequels that’ll cost as much as a small South American country, he’s also backing Robert Rodriguez is the blockbuster due to come out this winter, Alita: Battle Angel. Cameron has long been fascinated by the Manga by Yukito Kishiro — it’s spent nearly 20 years in development — and finally the master of the blockbuster got his screenplay produced with maverick filmmaker Robert Rodriguez directing.
Alita was originally slate to come out this summer but the extensive special effects work pushed the film back to a December 21, 2018 release date. Rosa Salazar stars as the eponymous Battle Angel with a computer enhanced body and eyes so big that Margaret Keane is in awe. Joining Salazar in this fantastical world are a trio of Oscar winners, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, and Mahershala Ali. Also in the cast of Alita: Battle Angel are Keenan Johnson, the venerable Jackie Earle Haley, and Deadpool villain Ed Skrein.
I’m not going to lie: I’m not entirely sold on this movie. While I certainly believe that any movie that James Cameron is backing is bound to have plenty of stunning visual effects, I worry about the storytelling instincts of Robert Rodriguez, who has made very good films in the past but has seen his skillset diminish over his last few films. Alita: Battle Angel will have some stiff competition at the winter box office as it’s going head-to-head with DC’s Aquaman as well as Paramount’s Transformers spinoff Bumblebee. Those looking for big eye candy will have plenty of options to choose from when Alita: Battle Angel lands in theaters on December 21, 2018.
The official synopsis for Alita: Battle Angel:
From visionary filmmakers James Cameron (AVATAR) and Robert Rodriguez (SIN CITY), comes ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL, an epic adventure of hope and empowerment. When Alita (Rosa Salazar) awakens with no memory of who she is in a future world she does not recognize, she is taken in by Ido (Christoph Waltz), a compassionate doctor who realizes that somewhere in this abandoned cyborg shell is the heart and soul of a young woman with an extraordinary past. 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.