Disney is formally developing a sequel to “Alita: Battle Angel.” James Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis created the original screenplay for the 2019 movie, adapting it from Yukito Kishiro’s Japanese cyberpunk manga series “Gunnm” (also known as “Battle Angel Alita” in English). The movie was made under Robert Rodriguez’s direction. The main character of the story is a female cyborg with amnesia. Cyber scientist Dr. Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz) finds her disembodied form in the sarcastic scrapyard of Iron City. He gives her a new robotic body and the name Alita. She embarks on a perilous journey with the young local Hugo to discover who she truly is.
The sequel encountered its fair share of difficulties prior to this official announcement, much like the first film, which endured a nearly 15-year development nightmare. The original was a critical and commercial success despite having a 61% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and earning $405 million on a $150-200 million budget. Furthermore, the first film closes with a hint for a sequel, with uncredited performances by Edward Norton, Michelle Rodriguez, and Jai Courtney as Nova, Gelda, and Jashugan possibly setting up more important roles in the sequel.
The Walt Disney Studios acquired the production and distribution company for the original science fiction action film, 20th Century Studios (formerly known as 20th Century Fox), in 2019, leading many to believe that the transaction has hindered the development of a sequel. In a 2020 interview with Collider, Waltz emphasised his willingness to return for a sequel, but he also hinted that the project might not survive what he called “Disneyfication.” It was Fox, and Fox is no longer in operation, the actor remarked. It’s now Disney. But I’m not sure if it fits the Disneyfication. I have no idea. In the interim, I haven’t heard anything, but maybe they’re working on something and I wouldn’t be the first to find out about it.
For years, a devoted fan base has demanded a continuation of the original film and its source material. In a January 2021 interview with Forbes, Rodriguez expressed his sincere desire to produce a further “Alita” film. While giving a speech for Variety’s “Directors on Directors” Series, he and Cameron supposedly signed a “blood oath” regarding making the sequel in 2022.
Rodriguez and Salazar, the film’s star, haven’t been confirmed to show up in the sequel, but Jon Landau, who also produced the original, revealed they were working on it in an April 2023 interview with Screen Rant. He further stated that the sequel to “Alita” would be influenced by the lessons learned from “Avatar: The Way of Water” by the filmmakers. “I think what we’ve learned from ‘Avatar’ is how much more facial nuance and subtlety we can get into characters that we want to be emotional and emote that are humanoid,” he said. If not for what we did for ‘Alita,’ ‘Avatar’ would not be what it is today. If not for what we accomplished for “Avatar,” “Avatar: Way of Water” would not be what it is today. Now store that and hand it to “Alita.” The conversation between Robert and Rosa and I is going well.
Although Cameron and Landau were focused on the “Avatar” film, Rodriguez acknowledged that the idea had been discussed with GamesRadar+ in May 2023. With the formal announcement of the ‘Alita’ sequel, we might anticipate further casting and plot-related announcements in the following months.