For a lot of reasons, 2019’s Alita: Battle Angel was a huge hit. After a reported production budget of $170 million, the Fox film wound up making a little over $404 million worldwide—certainly more than expected, and those who loved it really enjoyed it. Yes, there is the whole weird anti-Captain Marvel aspect for some of its fans, but as just a movie, it clearly connected with audiences. With so much money and plenty of source material to mine … where exactly is the sequel?
Based on the ’90s manga series Gunnm or Battle Angel Alita by Yukito Kishiro, the story focuses on a young cyborg named Alita who has lost all her memories in a post-apocalyptic future. During a conversation with one of the movie’s stars, Christoph Waltz, he was asked by Collider about the Alita fanbase and if he would be interested in being in a sequel. He enthusiastically said yes.
“Of course! Of course I would!” Waltz said. “But, you know, I’m as wise as you are. I haven’t heard anything and I’m a little disappointed and surprised that I haven’t heard a thing so far, because I know that it has followers. I know that people liked it and aside from what others said, I loved it and I liked working on it and I liked the result.”
Then he got to the monopolizing elephant in the room about the reality of who now owns the Alita film rights., thanks to Disney buying up most of Fox. “You know, it was Fox and Fox doesn’t exist anymore. Now it’s Disney,” he continued. “Maybe it doesn’t fit into the Disneyfication, but I have no clue. I have no clue. Maybe they’re working on something and I wouldn’t be the first person to hear, but meanwhile, I haven’t heard anything.”
Alita was not only a Fox film, but part of its online social fervor from “fans” was pitting it against the Disney/Marvel film Captain Marvel, which I’m sure the higher-ups are aware of. That puts the film in a weird place where it’s still a profitable movie, but it was used against the company that now owns it—almost as if monopolies are not good, or something.
I think it would be silly for Disney not to invest in some of the projects that Fox started that are sequel-ready. Alita is one of the most—if not the most—successful films adapted from anime that Hollywood has made thus far. It has great visuals and a diverse cast of really talented people. While it didn’t exactly blow me away, I had a fun time watching it, and director Robert Rodriguez will always have a special place in my heart because of Spy Kids and The Faculty. So, just let him make a sequel to Alita: Battle Angel, if only so we get to watch a CGI Rosa Salazar robot punch Edward Norton in the face. Isn’t that worth the investment?
(via Collider, image: Fox)
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