Fans of the graphic novel series Battle Angel Alita have reason to be hopeful this morning, as word comes that the much delayed movie adaptation might finally come to fruition.

Fox and producers Jon Landau and James Cameron, who has long eyed the director’s chair, have chosen none other than Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Desperado) to helm the film adaptation of the popular series. Cameron owns the rights to the story and has been talking about an adaptation for 15 years, presumably waiting for effects technology to catch up to the demands of the story. He’s of course busying prepping the back to back Avatar sequels that will have him busy for the next few years.

Created by Yukito Kishiro and first published in 1990, Battle Angel Alita is set in the 26th century and centres on the title character — an amnesiac female cyborg who is rescued from a scrapyard by a doctor. The rebuilt Alita, remembering only her training in a deadly martial art, becomes a hunter-warrior, tracking down and eliminating vicious criminals. The film will explore a young woman’s journey of self-discovery and finding love.


“Robert and I have been looking for a film to do together for years, so I was pumped when he said he wanted to do Battle Angel,” Cameron said. “He’s very collaborative and we’re already like two kids building a go-kart, just having fun riffing creatively and technically. This project is near and dear to me, and there’s nobody I trust more than Robert, with his technical virtuosity and rebel style, to take over the directing reins. We’re looking forward to learning a lot from each other while we make a kick-ass epic.”

Added Rodriguez: “Battle Angel is an incredibly rich and vibrant epic in the tradition of Jim Cameron’s spectacular, character-driven films. Getting to work from Jim’s terrific and visionary script while learning the cutting edge techniques he’s pioneered is a master class in film-making. It’s an honour to explore the world of Alita along with Jim and Jon, whose films have impacted me for decades.”

Working from a script by Cameron, Rodriguez is an inspired choice to bring the world of Battle Angel to life, and marks a departure of sorts for the director who hasn’t really told an out and out science fiction story before. No word on whether this will be a 3D mo-cap affair like Avatar, but I for one am interested to see his take on it.