James Cameron had spent years eying Alita: Battle Angel as a vehicle for him to direct, but after he became preoccupied expanding the world of Avatar, Robert Rodriguez stepped in to shepherd the project out of two decades stuck in development hell, with Cameron staying on as producer and co-writer.
The movie scored decent enough reviews from critics, but the box office was a little disappointing for a blockbuster sci-fi that reportedly cost $170 million to produce, with Alita topping out at just over $400 million worldwide. However, the movie has gone on to develop a cult following, and fans have been crossing their fingers that a sequel would materialize, despite reports that the first pic may not have even broken even by the time it left theaters.
As is usually the case when fans decide they want a sequel to something though, petitions were launched, banners were flown and social media was bombarded with demands, but we’re still no further forward. And given the huge budget required, the razor-thin profit margins involved and the fact that the property is now under Disney’s control, it seems hugely unlikely that we’ll ever see further adventures.
Star Christoph Waltz agrees, and in a recent interview he admitted that he’d love to make an Alita sequel, but doesn’t think that it falls under the type of tentpole movie that the Mouse House are looking to produce these days.
“Of course! I know that people liked it, and aside from what others said, I loved it and I liked working on it, and I liked the result. Maybe it doesn’t fit into the Disneyfication, but I have no clue. I have no clue.”
Fan campaigns never result in the studios simply bowing to pressure and giving them what they want, and a mega-budget sci-fi with a niche audience isn’t the kind of thing that Disney are going to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in. We hate to say it, but as much as people try and will it into existence, the chances of an Alita: Battle Angel sequel are looking increasingly slim.