The Austin Chronicle

Alita: Battle Angel Teaser Arrives

By Richard Whittaker, December 8, 2017, 4:25pm, Picture in Picture

Manga meets East Austin in cinemas next year, as the first teaser for Robert Rodriguez's upcoming sci-fi epic Alita: Battle Angel just arrived online.

The film adapts Yukito Kishiro's manga Gunnm, aka Battle Angel Alita, about a robot warrior (Rosa Salazar, Parenthood), rescued from the literal trash heap by Dr. Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz) and set on a path to save the world.

Rodriguez regulars Eiza González (From Dusk Till Dawn), Jeff Fahey, and Michelle Rodriguez (Machete Kills) star, as well as Oscar-winners Jennifer Connelly and Mahershala Ali.

This is a project with a long history, predating Rodriguez's involvement. Back in the late 1990s, James Cameron was rumored to be working on adapting Kishiro's seminal manga. There was even a lot of speculation that, when it started hitting development hell, he created the Dark Angel TV series to scratch the same creative itch. It's been on the Terminator director's back burner for years, until he finally handed directing duties over to Rodriguez on 2016.

Cameron remains on board as producer and writer, so it will be interesting to see how Rodriguez (who has traditionally only filmed his own scripts) absorbs the near two decades of work that has already gone into this film.

Production at Rodriguez's Troublemaker Studios was under a blanket of secrecy, and this is the first real chance to see what the man behind Machete has been up to in East Austin.

Alita: Battle Angel is scheduled for a July 20, 2018, release. Rumors are that, if this is successful, then there could be a full-blown franchise adapting all nine volumes of the original comic.

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