How James Cameron Fixed 'Alita: Battle Angel's Big Eyes, But Not By Making Them Smaller

You've seen the trailer for Alita: Battle Angel right? It's the sci-fi movie produced by James Cameron and directed by Robert Rodriguez featuring a robot girl warrior with eyes so big that they look like her tears could drown a fish. Okay, glad we're on the same page.

It turns out that the eyes on the titular character in Alita: Battle Angel (played by Rosa Salazar, who has normal human eyes) were so big that James Cameron asked that they be fixed after the first trailer was released. However, he didn't want them fixed to be smaller. Instead, they were actually tweaked to be a bit bigger. Find out what the Avatar filmmaker had to say about the Alita Battle Angel eyes below.

Robert Rodriguez Addresses Huge Alita Battle Angel Eyes

The video above comes from some kind of Q&A at a screening event, presumably for Alita: Battle Angel, and director Robert Rodriguez was asked about the mostly negative reaction to how huge and unnatural Alita's eyes looked in the first trailer.

Rodriguez explains that even though the reaction was negative, the real test for them was whether or not producers James Cameron and Jon Landau were going to say anything about the eyes. After reviewing some footage, they didn't initially get notes about the eyes being too big. But shortly thereafter, Cameron followed up and said the eyes needed to be fixed. But rather than making the eyes smaller, he said the irises needed to be bigger to make them look more realistic.

Here's a side-by-side comparison showing the original eyes on the left and the improved eyes on the right:

Alita Battle Angel Eyes

As you can see, the original eyes make Alita look like an insane person, almost cartoonish. And while the improved eyes are obviously still way too big for a human's face (which is intentional and is intended to reflect the character's original manga design), the increased size of the irises does make them look far more realistic and not quite so distracting. You can see a few more examples in the video.

Still, the giant anime-style eyes don't make much sense unless there's some kind of technological or evolutionary explanation for them. And even if there is an explanation for them, the eyes still pull attention away from anything else in the movie.

The rest of the cast in Alita: Battle Angel includes Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, Jackie Earle Haley and more, and they all seem to have totally average sized eyes.

Alita: Battle Angel arrives on February 14, 2018.