For the longest time, James Cameron has been mapping out his grandiose schematic for the Avatar universe, but on the director’s back burner has been an anime project that has captured our imagination; that is, the long-long-gestating adaptation of Battle Angel Alita.
Yukito Kishiro’s cult manga series has flirted with the big screen for years, and Cameron’s rendition of the sci-fi anime has languished in development since Pandora was merely a far-flung concept. But now, we finally have word of the project trickling through, with Deadline reporting that the director has now taken a step back to appoint Robert Rodriguez at the helm.
Cameron hired the director in tandem with producing partner Jon Landau, with Rodriguez’s previous credits encompassing Sin City, Desperado and From Dusk till Dawn. In an official press release, here’s what the director had to share.
“Robert and I have been looking for a film to do together for years, so I was pumped when he said he wanted to do Battle Angel,” James Cameron said in a press release. “He’s very collaborative and we’re already like two kids building a go-kart, just having fun riffing creatively and technically. This project is near and dear to me, and there’s nobody I trust more than Robert, with his technical virtuosity and rebel style, to take over the directing reins. We’re looking forward to learning a lot from each other while we make a kick-ass epic.”
“Battle Angel is an incredibly rich and vibrant epic in the tradition of Jim Cameron’s spectacular, character-driven films,” Rodriguez added “Getting to work from Jim’s terrific and visionary script while learning the cutting edge techniques he’s pioneered is a master class in filmmaking. It’s an honor to explore the world of Alita along with Jim and Jon, whose films have impacted me for decades.”
Setting up shop at 20th Century Fox, there’s no word on an official timeline for Battle Angel Alita just yet. For those unfamiliar with the source material, the manga takes place in the 26th century and focus on the titular cyborg, who trains in the fine art of Panzer Kuns after suffering from amnesia.