While Robert Rodriguez has a penchant for making very violent films, he also tends to bring more family-driven films to the theater as well. Pairing with James Cameron gave Rodriguez his largest budget for the film “Alita: Battle Angel.” Despite all indications, it was set to release this December, Fox moved the film back into early 2019. This has caused some to worry about the state of the film, but Fox may have helped the feature find a more open season to release. It certainly does not hurt that the new trailer, released today, easily has the best footage of any of the looks we’ve seen so far.
Starring Rosa Salazar as the titular Alita, the story follows a cyborg attempting to rise up. Shepherded into the world by a doctor Ido (Christoph Waltz) and her friend Hugo (Keean Johnson), the two try to help her gain strength. However, because of her special cyborg abilities, she is hunted by those who want to see her destroyed. Vector (Mahershala Ali) represents her greatest threat, one that pushes her to the edge. The cast also includes Oscar-winner Jennifer Connelly, Michelle Rodriguez, and Ed Skrein.
The “Alita” story comes from a cyber-punk anime story that ran in Japan during the early 1990s. This could make for some interesting commentary as the film comes closer to release, especially given the reactions to films like “Ghost in the Shell” and “Death Note” over the past few years. However, Rodriguez continues to be a proponent of inclusive storytelling. This film features several actors of color, including Salazar. It’ll be curious to see what comes from the film, or if the February release is simply to bury it. Still, with some impressive special effects this time out, it could find its way into the race.