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Did Disney Scrap the ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ Sequel?

Rosa Salazar as Alita in Alita: Battle Angel

It has been over four years since Alita: Battle Angel premiered in theaters and intrigued fans with its breathtaking motion-capture animation. Audiences were especially eager to see the film due to it spending well over a decade in developmental hell. Alita: Battle Angel was first revealed to be in development back in 2003, when James Cameron became interested in the Battle Angel Alita manga. But Cameron had a much bigger project on the horizon—2009’s Avatar—which contributed to Alita‘s delays. Though he initially hoped to direct the movie himself, in 2016 Cameron passed directing duties over to Robert Rodriguez.

Production went smoothly under Rodriguez, and Alita: Battle Angel was released on February 14, 2019. The film, which stars Rosa Salazar as a cyborg saved from a scrapyard by a kindly cyber-doctor, was a commercial success and received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the stunning visual effects but criticized the script and pacing. Still, Alita: Battle Angel clearly intrigued viewers, and with more manga volumes available for adaptation, a sequel or even film series seemed possible. Plus, Cameron and Rodriguez expressed interest in expanding the Alita: Battle Angel world from the onset, even cleverly casting Edward Norton, Michelle Rodriguez, and Jai Courtney in cameo or non-speaking roles in the first film to tentatively set up a sequel.

Four years later, there is still no Alita: Battle Angel 2. Here’s what we know about whether the film will get a sequel in the future.

Will Alita: Battle Angel 2 still happen?

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

So far, a sequel to Alita: Battle Angel has not been officially confirmed, and the chances of one happening are a bit complicated. The reason is that Alita: Battle Angel was the last film released by 20th Century Fox before Disney acquired the studio. This means that Disney, in turn, acquired the rights to Alita: Battle Angel, and it is now at Disney’s discretion to greenlight a sequel. One of the film’s stars, Christoph Waltz, hinted that an Alita sequel may not fit with the “Disneyfication” of 20th Century Fox. This was just speculation, of course, and likely the only explanation he could think of for why he hadn’t heard anything about a sequel.

Cameron and Rodriguez still seem to believe that a sequel could happen. For the past few years, Rodriguez has indicated his continued interest in making a sequel. In December 2022, Variety even reported that Cameron and Rodriguez had taken a blood oath to make the sequel a reality. Meanwhile, Alita producer Jon Landau has also remained hopeful about Alita: Battle Angel 2. In an interview with Screen Rant, he suggested that the advancements Avatar: The Way of Water made in motion-capture animation will open up more possibilities for Alita: Battle Angel 2. Landau also claimed that there were “talks” happening between him, Rosa Salazar, and Rodriguez about the sequel.

Ultimately, it seems that several people involved with Alita: Battle Angel are holding out for a sequel. However, given that Disney has remained silent on the subject, it’s unclear if their efforts will be successful. Cameron and Rodriguez are both heavily involved with Disney, so they are the two likeliest filmmakers to sway the studio. As of now, though, it seems the ball is in Disney’s court, and we’re waiting to see what the studio’s move will be.

(featured image: 20th Century Studios)

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Rachel Ulatowski is an SEO writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, YA literature, celebrity news, and coming-of-age films. She has over two years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant 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.