Alita: Battle Angel opens in theaters on St. Valentine’s Day, which is fitting — the $200 million film represents a long romance between producer James Cameron and the source material, the cyberpunk saga created by Yukito Kishiro in the 1990s. Cameron flirted with making it into a movie in the mid-2000s (and even wrote a 180-page script for the adaptation) but then set it aside in favor of making a different sci-fi epic: Avatar, the 2009 alien adventure that stands as the highest-grossing film in history.
Check out the new trailer above and key art below.
In 2015, director Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Spy Kids) inquired about the status of Alita and ended up with Cameron’s script in hand and a new job on tap. With Rodriguez directing and Cameron producing (along with his longtime partner, Jon Landau), filming finally got underway in 2016. Also on board: Weta, the famed special-effects house in New Zealand, which was tasked with the film’s offbeat challenge of achieving a photo-realistic anime interpretation of Alita’s title character and the story’s futuristic setting.
A new trailer for the film shows the dream-like quality of the finished product. The 20th Century Fox film stars Rosa Salazar as Alita, a cyborg who awakens in Iron City, a world she does not recognize with no memory of her past. The cast also includes Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, Jackie Earle Haley and Keean Johnson.