Alita: Battle Angel isn’t a movie set in the future that’s all about doom and gloom. Director Robert Rodriguez‘s grand spectacle tells a story with genuine warmth and kindness, thanks in no small part to the presence of actor Christoph Waltz. Playing Dr. Dyson Ido, who discovers Alita in a heap of trash and jolts her back to life, Waltz helps make Rodriguez’s adaptation of Yukito Kishiro‘s manga series more heartfelt than a typical studio movie (which Alita: Battle Angel most certainly is not).

Waltz plays a paternal role and watches Alita’s self-discovery unfold like the audience does. Another part of Waltz’s role and job: assisting in explaining the world, Alita, and the tech. The actor does plenty of heavy lifting for the story, but like Cameron’s handle for world building, Waltz does it all with a natural ease. Plus, if there’s one actor you’re going to immediately buy as a brilliant scientist and doctor, it’s the Inglorious Basterds star, who recently told us about his experience with Rodriguez, cinematographer Bill Pope (The Matrix), and producer James Cameron during a brief phone interview.

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Jon landau interview

Alita: Battle Angel has been a long time coming. Based on Yukito Kishiro‘s manga series Battle Angel Alita, the big and intimate Robert Rodriguez film was once going to be directed by producer James Cameron, who ended up choosing Avatar over the property. Cameron ultimately handed directorial duties over to Rodriguez, who helped whip Cameron’s epic script into a manageable length.

Even with a different director at the helm, producer Jon Landau wanted to make a James Cameron-style event film, describing the movie as “a movie with themes bigger than its genre” and “has a central relatable character, who on many levels, is an ordinary character who ends up doing extraordinary things against this epic backdrop.” Alita: Battle Angel, which the site’s own Hoai-Tran Bui rightfully praised as Hollywood’s first good manga adaptation, certainly checks those boxes.

We spoke to Landau recently and he told us a bit more about the project’s history, working with Cameron, deleted scenes, and Avatar 2.

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alita battle angel cameo

Alita: Battle Angel has some high-profile actors in its ensemble, with Oscar winners Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, and Mahershala Ali all delivering their A-game in a surprisingly entertaining sci-fi epic. But one big cameo at the end of the film was one of the most exciting surprises. In a new interview, Robert Rodriguez explains how he landed the actor for that cameo, and what it potentially means for future films.

Warning, major spoilers ahead for Alita: Battle Angel.

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alita box office

The early reaction to Alita: Battle Angel has been somewhat positive, but that might not be enough to save it at the box office. Early Alita box office tracking indicates that the sci-fi extravaganza from Robert Rodriguez and James Cameron might end up being the first major bomb of 2019. Yikes. Maybe things will change with word of mouth. Or maybe not…

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Alita Battle Angel Super Bowl Trailer

We were skeptical about Alita: Battle Angel for some time, but we’ve really turned around on this Robert Rodriguez-directed, James Cameron-produced science fiction film. Based on the popular Japanese manga Battle Angel Alita, this looks like a faithful (and therefore, odd and crazy) adaptation that really understands the appeal of the source material. And the new Super Bowl trailer promises even more cyborg action.

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Alita Battle Angel performance capture

James Cameron‘s experience using performance capture for 2009’s Avatar convinced him that Alita: Battle Angel would be possible, and in the ten years since, the technology has dramatically improved. 20th Century Fox has released a cool behind the scenes video about the techniques that were used on the set to capture star Rosa Salazar‘s performance in Alita, and the video is much more detailed than the typical fluff featurettes that tend to accompany studio releases like this. Read More »

alita battle angel review

Anime is the final frontier, the last genre that Hollywood can’t seem to crack. Just look to the hilariously misguided Dragon Ball or the shallow husk that is Ghost in the Shell. Whether it be out of a fundamental misunderstanding of the source material, the messiness of cultural and racial divides, or simply the incompatibility of anime with any live-action form, anime adaptations have had a notoriously bad track record in Hollywood.

But Alita: Battle Angel may have just broken that losing streak.

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Alita Battle Angel reviews

Alita: Battle Angel has been a passion project for James Cameron for nearly two decades, but since he became busy in the world of Pandora for his Avatar sequels, he decided to step back into a producer role and let Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Desperado) take the directing reins. Now we’re on the brink of the film’s release, and after the first positive wave of early buzz, the first full reviews have hit the web. What do critics think about the new sci-fi action film?  Read More »

Alita Battle Angel Clip

Like many science fiction films, the success of Alita: Battle Angel seems to hinge on whether or not audiences will fall in love with the wild and weird world in which the story takes place. But some snazzy action certainly can’t hurt. In the latest clip from the new Robert Rodriguez film, the badass cyborg warrior Alita (Rosa Salazar) faces office against a hulking robotic menace named Grewishka (Jackie Earl Haley) in the sewers beneath Iron City. Bladed weapons, yelling, and a fair amount of slo-mo ensues.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

alita battle angel early screenings

How do you get a notorious social media hater likes James Cameron to join both Instagram and Facebook in one fell swoop? Get him to promote the early screenings for Alita: Battle Angel, the Avatar director’s passion project helmed by Robert Rodriguez. Cameron announced the early screenings on both social media platforms, inviting fans to see the film for free two whole weeks before its theatrical release.

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