Alita Battle Angel performance capture

Rosa Salazar is the heart and soul of Alita: Battle Angel. The actress, known for her work in the Maze Runner series, breathes life into what’s easily Robert Rodriguez‘s biggest and most sincere movie. The scale of the James Cameron-produced manga adaptation is a treat for the eyes, but Alita is the main attraction of this spectacle, and the reason it’s easy to get lost in the world.

Alita is another major accomplishment for Weta, as well as for Rodriguez and Salazar. The character, who was created via motion capture, is as dense and nuanced as her futuristic world, if not more so. Whether she’s eating a chocolate bar for the first time or playing a game of Motorball, she’s always growing, always learning, and always entertaining. Recently, Salazar told us about the work that went into playing Alita, studying the source material, and one pivotal scene that left her conflicted.

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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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avatar sequels news

James Cameron is hellbent on making Avatar sequels until the sun burns out in the sky, and day by day, more info on the films arrives. Last year, we learned what the possible titles of the films would be, and the titles…were a bit weird. But as it turns out, they are indeed real – for now, at least. On top of that, it’s recently been revealed that cast member Kate Winslet held her breath underwater for a very long time, and that live-action filming on the sequels picks up this spring.

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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 »

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 VFX

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 visual effects breakdown shows off the digital work that went into creating a variety of elements during the climactic third act. Plus, Robert Rodriguez and Jon Landau talks about the inception of the upcoming James Cameron produced sci-fi movie Alita: Battle Angel, and Bill Hader shows off some of his more obscure impressions. Read More »

avatar universe

I learned a long time ago to think twice before doubting James Cameron. When everyone in Hollywood thought he was in the midst of an over-budgeted disaster, Cameron delivered what became the highest grossing movie of all time. The fact that the previous sentence could be referring to either Titanic or Avatar and be equally accurate is absolutely nuts, and while I’ve made my fair share of jokes about the upcoming Avatar sequels never getting off the ground, we now know exactly when Cameron will be diving back into the alien world of Pandora to begin filming.

Plus, each of the sequels are now being described as “stand-alone” stories that connect to form a larger saga. Find out the official Avatar 2 start date below.
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Alita Battle Angel

For several years now, James Cameron has been planning to make a live-action adaptation of Battle Angel Alita. But he’s been tied up with the Avatar sequels, and has even suggested he might only direct Avatar movies from now on. So where does that leave Battle Angel Alita?

Well, as of today, in the capable hands of director Robert Rodriguez. The Machete director is confirmed to helm the manga adaptation, now going by the slightly different title Alita: Battle Angel. Cameron remains on board as a producer, along with Jon Landau. Read all about the Alita Battle Angel Robert Rodriguez news after the jump.  Read More »

Avatar Land model

Update: New details have been revealed about the Pandora: The World of Avatar rides. Get the new info and see some concept art after the jump.

At the last D23 Expo in 2013, Disney didn’t have much to reveal about Disney World’s upcoming theme park land based on James Cameron‘s epic Avatar franchise, offering just a vague tease of props and photos from Imagineering’s research scout to Pandora.

In February we got a bit more information when Walt Disney Imagineering released a video of the filmmaker visiting the Bioluminescent Forrest behind closed doors. Later that year, Disney finally revealed their plans and concept art for the upcoming project, with construction begining on Pandora in January 2014 in Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando Florida.

At D23 Expo 2015, Walt Disney Imagineering finally let fans get a close-up look at what they’re planning for Avatar Land. Hit the jump to see photos from the show floor exhibit and learn more about the upcoming theme park land.

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James Cameron Visits Avatar Land Bioluminescent Forrest

Its been a while since we’ve heard anything about Avatar Land, Disney World’s upcoming theme park land based on James Cameron‘s epic Avatar franchise. Last we heard, construction had begun on Pandora in January 2014 in Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando Florida. Today we get an update which gives us a preview of some of the creative process including some of the really cool looking interactive features of the bioluminescent forrest currently in the works. Watch a video of James Cameron discovering the progress being made as he visits the Avatar Land Bioluminescent Forrest behind closed doors.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

‘Avatar 2’ Test Footage Screened at Siggraph

Avatar Future Earth

For years, James Cameron and Jon Landau have continued to assure the public Avatar 2 is coming. The writer/director has been locked away working on the script and the producer has been out and about giving us brief updates. This week, for the first time, Landau came out in public and showed some test footage for the film. It showed a “noticeable improvement” in the virtual camera techniques, with higher quality output in a scene that featured a human and Na’vi walking on the surface of Pandora. Read More »