Rosa Salazar as Alita in Alita: Battle Angel

‘Alita: Battle Angel 2’ Is Coming, but It Sure Is Taking a Long Time

Director Robert Rodriguez and producer James Cameron have confirmed that Alita: Battle Angel 2 is officially in development. Now that the SAG-AFTRA strike has concluded, production on the film may be starting soon.

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It has been almost five years since Alita: Battle Angel first premiered. The film is based on the manga of the same name by Yukito Kishiro and follows a cyborg named Alita (Rosa Salazar) who is taken in and given a new body by a man named Dr. Ido (Christoph Waltz). Although she initially has amnesia, she slowly starts learning about the dystopian world she is living in and finds that her fighting skills make her quite adept at a game called Motorball.

Upon its release, Alita: Battle Angel drew mixed reviews. Mainly, it received praise for its stunning visual effects as it transformed Salazar into a cyborg through cutting-edge motion-capture technology. The film also featured strong performances and a unique premise. However, one of the complaints was that the story doesn’t get very far. Alita: Battle Angel chooses to end on a cliffhanger, just barely revealing the main villain in the film and not even showing a tiny glimpse of an important floating city, Zalem. It also seemed to devote too much time to setting up a sequel, which many were uncertain would even happen with the mixed reviews, ambiguous box office results, and Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox.

Fortunately, Alita: Battle Angel will get to continue the story it carefully set up. Here’s everything we know about the sequel so far.

Is Alita: Battle Angel 2 on its way?

Rosa Salazar as Alita in Alita: Battle Angel
(20th Century Studios)

Ever since Alita: Battle Angel‘s premiere, Cameron and Rodriguez have been adamant about making a sequel happen. The pair even took a blood oath to make the sequel. By April 2023, Jon Landau confirmed talks were happening on Alita: Battle Angel 2 between him, Rodriguez, and Salazar. Meanwhile, Cameron stated in July that he was working on “the new Alita: Battle Angel films,” suggesting he’s planning for more than one sequel to the original. The most recent update came from Rodriguez, who indicated production may start soon since 20th Century Studios is rolling out films again after its acquisition by Disney.

Essentially, it sounds like the production, directorial, and writing teams are all on board, and the sequel is just waiting for the greenlight to begin production. With the SAG-AFTRA strike concluded, that could be soon.

However, even if it gets the greenlight for production, it may still be a few years before it arrives on screen. Motion capture is a timely process, especially since Landau has teased elevating its sophistication, drawing from what he and Cameron learned from making Avatar: The Way of Water. Cameron is also still working on the Avatar franchise, which may make working on Alita: Battle Angel 2 a bit more complicated. After all, the original film took 16 years to complete due to Cameron’s busy schedule. It’s doubtful the film will arrive before 2026. If it waits until the following three Avatar films are off Cameron’s slate, it may not even arrive until the 2030s.

What to expect from Alita: Battle Angel 2

rosa salazar as girlbot alita.
(20th Century Studios)

So far, Salazar is the only cast member confirmed for Alita: Battle Angel 2. Cameron, Landau, and Rodriguez have indicated her involvement in all the talks about the sequel. In fact, Salazar even admitted that she has bothered Cameron and Rodriguez so much about the film that she was worried “it might become a legal issue.”

While not confirmed, there are several other cast members who are likely to return, too. Considering that Edward Norton had a brief cameo in the original as Nova, the true villain in the series, he would likely return in a larger capacity in the sequel. Another villain figure who could return is Ed Skrein’s bounty-hunter cyborg, Zapan. Waltz would also be an excellent candidate to return, considering he portrays Alita’s father figure, Dr. Ido. Nearly all the cast members in the original have the potential return, aside from Mahershala Ali, Keean Johnson, and Jennifer Connelly, due to their characters seemingly being deceased at the end of the original. However, other supporting cast members like Jackie Earle Haley and Lana Condor are still fair game for the sequel.

Storywise, the sequel is expected to pick up right where the original left off. With Norton’s Nova unveiled, Alita: Battle Angel 2 can really dive into the villain. There are so many remaining questions about what Nova’s motivations and plans are and how Alita gets revenge for the loss of her lover. Additionally, there’s a lot more to be explored about Zalem and the backstory to the dystopian world we see in the original. The sequel will likely just keep fleshing out and building the unique world and story introduced in the original.

(featured image: 20th Century Studios)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.