James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez are hoping to turn the tide in the field of live-action anime. The full trailer and synopsis for their adaptation of the classic manga Gunnm by Yukito Kishiro was released today, bearing the title Alita: Battle Angel.
The film is being directed by Rodriguez (Sin City, Grindhouse), who also wrote the screenplay alongside Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis (Terminator Genisys, Shutter Island). In partnership with longtime collaborator Jon Landau, Cameron will also produce this "action-packed story of hope, love and empowerment," as described in 20th Century Fox's synopsis.
The cast is impressive, beginning with Rosa Salazar (The Maze Runner) in the title role. Starring alongside her will be three Oscar winners — Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, and Mahershala Ali — along with Ed Skrein (Deadpool), Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen), and Keean Johnson (TV's Nashville).
In the film, a cyber-doctor named Ido (Waltz) finds the abandoned Alita (Salazar) many centuries from now in a place called Iron City. She has no memory of who or what she is, and Ido wants it to stay that way. His efforts are hindered when Alita meets Hugo (Johnson), who wants to help restore her memories. Soon enough, though, external threats make Alita realize that she has some pretty fantastic fighting abilities. She may not know where she's been or why she's here, but she can kick some major butt as she sets out "to take on the injustices of this dark, corrupt world, and discover that one young woman can change the world in which she lives."
Take a look at the trailer here:
It's only a trailer, sure, but this looks pretty good to us. For one thing, Salazar looks incredible as the wide-eyed heroine, and her quiet moments look as compelling as her action beats. Plus, the trailer features Waltz looking like this:
Recent attempts to bring anime to live action have not been entirely successful, so here's hoping that Rodriguez and company will buck the trend. Alita: Battle Angel is coming to theaters in July of 2018. Will you be watching?