The adaptation of the manga “Gunnm” – released in cinemas under the title “Alita: Battle Angel” – joins the catalog of the Disney Plus platform today!
It was in February 2019 that Alita: Battle Angel, directed by Robert Rodriguez, was released on our screens. Long-term project, which will have taken nearly twenty years to materialize, the adaptation of the manga Gunnm (nine volumes available from Glénat editions) has long been one of the most personal projects of filmmaker James Cameron.
It was on the advice of his friend Guillermo del Toro that Cameron discovered the work of mangaka Yukito Kishiro at the end of the 1990s; the director immediately falls in love with this series following the adventures of an android woman, endowed with an overpowered force in a dystopian and apocalyptic world.
A project of adaptation in trilogy is very quickly started, with the implication of the two scenario writers. However, Cameron is also working at this time on the script for another film which will then require all his concentration: Avatar. Faced with a choice, Cameron then decides to shoot Avatar first, temporarily leaving aside the adaptation of Gunnm.
Cameron hasn’t given up on directing the film, but shooting the sequel to the biggest hit of all time (over $2.7 billion at the box office!) is taking him longer than expected. . Fueled by an overflowing imagination, the Canadian filmmaker has finally extended his vision beyond a simple trilogy, since no less than five films will now be needed to tell the story of Avatar to completion!
Until 2015, James Cameron still hopes to be able to shoot battle-angel (from the name of the American version of the manga: “Battle Angel Alita”); but the scale of Avatar 2 and 3 and the multiple production postponements finally forced him to give up directing the film himself.
Director Robert Rodriguez is then hired to direct Alita: Battle Angel (final title of the feature film), which Cameron will still co-write and produce; filming began in the fall of 2016 at Troublemaker Studios in Rodriguez, in collaboration with James Cameron’s special effects company Lightstorm.
At first glance, the collaboration of two filmmakers with such different worlds was not obvious, and yet the result finally managed to twist the blow to the apriori. Despite disappointing box office figures (404 million dollars in revenue for a budget of around 175 million), Alita: Battle Angel was mostly hailed by critics and the public as a good adaptation of the manga. Gunnm.
Many fans have since spoken out demanding a sequel, demands publicly backed by James Cameron and his producer Jon Landau. Who knows if the arrival of the film today on the Disney+ platform could give the film a second life, and why not convince the teams of the 20th Century studio (a subsidiary of the Disney group) to start production of a Alita: Battle Angel 2 ?