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Alita: Battle Angel – 10 things you need to know about the James Cameron/Robert Rodriguez epic


Released next year, Alita: Battle Angel is the long-awaited new sci-fi epic from Oscar-winning filmmaker James Cameron.

With the Terminator and Avatar mastermind producing and Sin City's Robert Rodriguez directing, the movie promises to be one of the visually remarkable science-fiction films of 2019. Here's 10 things you need to know ahead of its February unveiling...

1. It's based on a classic Manga series

You may not have heard of Battle Angel Alita before, but, trust us, it's been massive in Japan since the first issue was published in 1990. Set in the post-apocalyptic future, the series tells the story of Alita, a cyborg who, having lost all memories, is found by a cybernetics doctor who rebuilds and takes care of her.

2. It's a team-up between two of cinema's greatest talents

Yes, Alita: Battle Angel is produced by James (Terminator, Aliens, Avatar, Titanic) Cameron and directed by Robert (Sin City, From Dusk Till Dawn, Desperado) Rodriguez. In terms of creative DNA, you couldn't ask for better parents.

3. You may not have heard of Rosa Salazar yet, but you will…

Playing the lead of role of Alita is 33-year-old Rosa Salazar. It's the biggest break yet for the American Horror Story and Maze Runner actor. With talents such as Cameron and Rodriguez putting such trust in her, she's sure to have a great future in Hollywood.

4. It's been a long time coming

It was director Guillermo del Toro who first brought Battle Angel Alita to James Cameron's attention 20 years ago. In fact, Cameron registered the internet domain name "" in June 2000.

5. It's another leap forward for CGI effects

James Cameron has wowed us before with CGI. Terminator 2 in 1991 was the first modern blockbuster to make extensive use of computer-generated imagery. Then, 18 years later, Avatar pushed the technology even further, pioneering motion capture effects technology in its epic story of alien planet Pandora, in which the features of the actors were mapped onto the designs of the indigenous Na'vi.

Now he's ready to give us the next stage of big screen CGI. Alita: Battle Angel apparently includes a whopping 1,500 visual effects shots. And of course Rodriguez is no slouch as a visual stylist: his groundbreaking 2005 graphic novel adaptation Sin City added splashes of lurid colour to its achingly atmospheric black and white palate, so the combination of these two creative forces promises great things.

6. It's the biggest budget Robert Rodriguez has ever had

Variety reported in 2016 that the movie has a budget between $175 million and $200 million. Yep, some serious bucks are being thrown at this movie – all the more reason to expect it to be mind-blowing.

7. Christoph Waltz plays Dr. Dyson Ido

The Academy Award-winning actor was recommended to Robert Rodriguez by their mutual friend, Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino directed Waltz to Oscar glory in Inglorious Basterds (2009) and Django Unchained (2012).

8. The movie already has its own Twitter account

How many movies can claim that in advance of their release date? If you want constant updates on this hotly-anticipated movie, get along to @AlitaMovie.

9. It's got no less than three Oscar winners in its cast

Apart from double-Oscar winner Christoph Waltz, there's also A Beautiful Mind winner Jennifer Connelly and Moonlight winner Mahershala Ali (who'll also be seen in the Golden Globe-nominated Green Book next February). Couple those with James Cameron's win from Titanic and that's some serious Oscar wattage there.

10. You may have already seen it before on screen

Yes, two of the nine-volume comic books were, in 1993, adapted into an anime movie titled Battle Angel, masterminded by famed anime director Hiroshi Fukutomi. It wasn't a success however, and this new version promises to be the definitive take.

Alita: Battle Angel arrives in Cineworld on 6th February 2019.