Alita: Battle Angel | Classic Manga Goes Live Action

Alita: Battle Angel | Classic Manga Goes Live Action

A cybernetic doctor discovers an abandoned cyborg on the scrapheap and decides to rebuild and revive her and name her, Alita.

Alita: Battle Angel is one of those films that has been languishing in development hell for years. First published in Japan in 1990, director James Cameron had the idea of making a live action picture way back in 2000.

But as time went by, Cameron also took on other projects, most famously that of Avatar. Alita: Battle Angel was repeatedly pushed back in Cameron’s schedule.

In October of 2015, Sin City director Robert Rodriguez was brought on board to condense Cameron’s immense 186-page script and 600 pages of notes into a shooting script. Impressed with Rodriguez’s work, Cameron offered him the job of directing the film.

But what’s it all about? A cybernetic expert, Dr. Dyson (Christoph Waltz) rescues a damaged cyborg from a scrapheap and rebuilds her. Once activated, unfortunately, she can remember nothing of her previous life, only a form of martial arts known as Panzer Kunst.

Alita is being played by Rosa Salazar through the use of motion capture as her character is 100% CGI. I must admit I totally forgot this as I was too transfixed by her large eyes which obviously make the character stand out, especially amongst her human co-stars. To the film’s credit, Alita’s look in this film is very faithful to the original manga comic.

Title: Alita: Battle Angel

Release | US: 20th July | UK: 20th July | World: IMDb

Visionary filmmakers James Cameron (AVATAR) and Robert Rodriguez (SIN CITY) create a groundbreaking new heroine in ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL, an action-packed story of hope, love and empowerment.


Set several centuries in the future, the abandoned Alita (Rosa Salazar) is found in the scrapyard of Iron City by Ido (Christoph Waltz), a compassionate cyber-doctor who takes the unconscious cyborg Alita to his clinic. When Alita awakens she has no memory of who she is, nor does she have any recognition of the world she finds herself in. Everything is new to Alita, every experience a first.


As she learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield Alita from her mysterious past while her street-smart new friend, Hugo (Keean Johnson), offers instead to help trigger her memories. A growing affection develops between the two until deadly forces come after Alita and threaten her newfound relationships. It is then that Alita discovers she has extraordinary fighting abilities that could be used to save the friends and family she’s grown to love.


Determined to uncover the truth behind her origin, Alita sets out on a journey that will lead her to take on the injustices of this dark, corrupt world, and discover that one young woman can change the world in which she lives.

John Abbitt

About the author | John Abbitt

@UKFilmNerd | John loves the movies and he used to write for his own website, The Tydirium Hangar Bay, in the late 1990's. Whilst the web page idea became lost in the passages of time, John's love of film did not. Now he's back, writing for The Unheard Nerd.