Be­yond Borg

ALITA: BAT­TLE AN­GEL | When Robert Ro­driguez met James Cameron…

Total Film - - Teasers - JM

When James Cameron bought the rights to Yuk­ito Kishiro’s manga Bat­tle An­gel Alita, the plan was for it to be his next pro­duc­tion af­ter TV series Dark An­gel. That was back in 2000. But then Cameron got lost in Avatar’s uni­verse and Alita be­came an un­made Cameron script – un­til Robert Ro­driguez stepped in. Asked by Cameron and his pro­ducer Jon Lan­dau to take the helm, the di­rec­tor un­der­took a daunt­ing prospect.

Wad­ing through “a thou­sand pages of notes, a 200-page script and a tonne of art­work”, it’s been a “huge pro­duc­tion”, says Ro­driguez, dwarf­ing ev­ery movie he’s done, from Sin City to Spy Kids. Even now, some two years af­ter the shoot, his team are still fi­ness­ing the ex­ten­sive vis­ual ef­fects. “I’m sur­prised it didn’t go longer,” he adds. “I’m just as­ton­ished on a daily ba­sis when I get new ef­fects shots in that just are mind-blow­ing.”

Based in the metropo­lis of Iron City (built ex­ten­sively at Ro­driguez’s Trou­ble­maker Stu­dios in Austin), Alita is a bro­ken cy­borg dis­cov­ered by Christoph Waltz’s kindly doc­tor. Played by Rosa Salazar, via per­for­mance cap­ture, Alita grad­u­ally comes to re­alise things about her past life.

Or, as Ro­driguez puts it, “It’s about a war­rior find­ing their heart.”

With Cameron’s Light­storm En­ter­tain­ment be­hind the $200 mil­lion project, Ro­driguez has re­mained faith­ful not only to the manga but to the spirit of Cameron. When he first came on board, he made a prom­ise to his screen­writer. “I said, ‘Hey man, I’m not go­ing turn it into a Robert Ro­driguez movie. I’m go­ing shoot it as a miss­ing Jim Cameron movie! I want to see that film!’” Don’t we all.

ETA | 5 FE­BRU­ARY / ALITA: BAT­TLE AN­GEL OPENS NEXT YEAR.

‘I’M JUST AS­TON­ISHED ON A DAILY BA­SIS WHEN I GET NEW EF­FECTS SHOTS THAT ARE MIND-BLOW­ING’ ROBERT RO­DRIGUEZ

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.