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The Alita: Battle Angel Club (Closed as of the 9th of January) Alita is someone very special so this club will have an extra option to go ALL-IN. IN: Alita: Battle Angel over Ant-Man and the Wasp worldwide ($623m) OUT: Alita: Battle Angel under Ant-Man and the Wasp worldwide ($623m) ALL-IN: Alita: Battle Angel grosses over Rogue One worldwide ($1,056m). About Alita: Battle Angel Alita: Battle Angel is an upcoming American cyberpunk action film, based on Yukito Kishiro's manga Battle Angel Alita. The film is produced by James Cameron and Jon Landau, and directed by Robert Rodriguez, the screenplay is by Cameron, Rodriguez and Laeta Kalogridis. James ‘Jim’ Cameron acquired the rights for Alita 18 years ago in 2000, he wrote the script himself and fully intended to direct this story. However, after the huge success of Avatar and how it resonated in the hearts of audiences worldwide Jim had to make the tough decision to put Alita to the side and focus on the Avatar saga. Robert Rodriquez as a fan of both Alita and Jim approached Jim to ask what would happen to Alita and the rest is history. Why Robert Rodriquez was picked to direct The director of Alita: Battle Angel has many good films under his belt such as Spy Kids 1&2, Sin City, Planet Terror, Machete and the El Mariachi series. He’s one of the most hands-on directors in the business, a man of Jim’s own ilk. Jon Landau and Jim knew Robert was a good option for the job when he delivered them a draft of the script he condensed and Jim was pleased to see Robert had a great grasp thematically what was important in the script. They had talked to many directors before Robert Rodriquez and turned them all down, they were prepared to wait potentially decades to find the right director. Rodriquez sold himself fully to Landau and Jim when he then told them that when he made Sin City he made a Frank Miller style movie, and on Alita he wanted to make a Jim Cameron style movie. That was Roberts commitment to Jim that the way he would shoot it, the way he would design it and his attention to detail would be that of a James Cameron movie. Robert Rodriquez is self-confessed massive Jim fan and cites Jim as an influence on his work as he loved Jim movies growing up. Robert Rodriquez no stranger to box office success Spy Kids 3D: Game Over / Budget: $38m / Worldwide Gross: $197m Sin City / Budget: $40m / Worldwide Gross: $158.8m Spy Kids / Budget: $35m / Worldwide Gross: $147.9m Spy Kids 2 / Budget: $38m / Worldwide Gross: $119.7m Once Upon a Time in Mexico / Budget: $29m / Worldwide Gross: $98.2m The adaption of the source material (no spoilers) The source material is a successful critically acclaimed Japanese manga called Battle Angel Alita which is not well known to the west. The film will be using the first 2 books and the 4th (there’s around 30 total) which focus on the amnesiac female cyborg Alita’s journey of self-discovery in Scrap Iron City. Iron City is a large metropolis full or criminals and the poor, it’s located beneath the floating city Zalam where the elites live. 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 offers 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. It’s important to note that Alita:Battle Angel film will be a 12A which means it won’t have the graphic violence some of the fans of the source material are hoping for, however this allows the film to be accessible to everyone and reach a wider audience. The source material chosen includes a lot of action between cyborgs with deadly combat abilities and martial arts (which Alita is a master of). We’ve all seen how popular fighting robots can be on the big screen with Transformers and Pacific Rim. It also includes the super popular deadly sport of motor-ball used the hyperviolent cross between gladiatorial combat and speed skating. The goal of each race is to carry a heavy motorball across the finish line, or to be the last player standing. What’s not to love? James Cameron’s Script James Cameron scripts are real crowd pleasers and there’s no sane reason to think otherwise for Alita. Landau has been calling the story universal and for everyone as it deals with common and universal themes that everyone experiences. The audiences will come to love the kick-ass Alita, the female empowerment int his movie will be akin to Sarah Connor and Ripley. Just like in Titanic and Avatar there will be something for everyone whether it be action or romance. Robert Rodriquez in a recent interview said (paraphrased) “I was drawn to Alita because I knew Jim was developing it and I didn’t know much about the manga… I read his script it was just so captivating the way he took the manga and turned it into a Jim Cameron film with a great love Story high stakes incredible building and the spectacle, it was the first time an anime/manga character would be brought to life photo-real and that was Jim’s vision for it.” In another interview Rodriquez called making a film like James Cameron would a personal dream of his. The world-building will be experiencing Iron City for the first time with Alita, the spectacle will be the intense battles between cyborgs and the in-world famous sport of Motorball, then there’s the romance between Hugo and Alita and the relationship between parent like Ido and Alita. It’s easy to see why Jim loves Alita and it really suits itself to being a Cameron movie, it’s on Robot to deliver on his commitment to bring a James Cameron style movie to the big screen. If you’ve read Alita and you’re reading this you just know the potential this movie has, I won’t spoil anything but there are some killer scenes which will be in the movie. Lightstorm Entertainment and WETA digital Alita is a full-tilt Lightstorm Entertainment production which means they had lots of Jim’s best people working on the film. That means the best technology and cameras, the best post production crews and you have to expect some incredible visuals. With the partner WETA digital onboard the same people who worked on the legendary war-paint Neytiri and battle sequences for Avatar you have to respect how much of a visuals spectacle will be. Alita looks amazing and those arms in the trailer look realer than real life. Jon Landau is a Producer/COO/Partner at Lightstorm and is a key player in the production of Alita and was Jim’s right hand man in Titanic and Avatar, he’s experience is huge and he had spent a lot of time with the production of Alita. Rodriguez has praised the collaboration with Landau and Cameron, and their Lightstorm Entertainment, saying Landau was on set during production and Cameron was just a call or email away while working on the Avatar sequel scripts. "He's so generous as a teacher," he said, "he wouldn't send back an answer, but a thesis." Alita’s reported budget of $175-200m The budget is the biggest that Rodriquez has ever had available to him and it’s a valid reason for concern. However, he’s got the two giants in Jim and Landau behind him who will help him who have persevered with the biggest budgets of all time. The large budget for the film indicates the highest quality visuals available and that there will be a huge advertisement and promotion push before the film is released. Original film / Unknown IP Alita is an original film in the eyes of global audiences, the competition Alita faces on it’s opening weekend isn’t as important. Expect a decent opening with a huge multiplier, basically the greatest showman on steroids. Many people are falling into the trap of comparing initial hype for Aquaman/BumbleBee/Mary Poppins against Alita, when those are known IP’s in the west. Cast We have three Oscar winners in Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly and Mahershala Ali. We have other big names such as Rosa Salazar (Alita), Ed Skrein, Jackie Earle Haley and Michelle Rodriquez. The casting of Waltz as Dr. Ido and Ali as Vector are almost too perfect for the roles, I’m sure manga readers would agree. No one wants to be in the next Jon Carter, it speaks volumes that the cast are confident in the script and the production. 3D Despite 3D sales falling by the year a lot of money is still being made via 3D screenings, especially overseas. Robert Rodriquez’s Spy Kids 3D was one of the first big hitters for 3D bringing the new technology into the limelight. For this film he was equipped with the best gear and crew to make a kick-ass 3D film and it was shot in native 3D. Alita will be the film to watch in 3D which gives it an advantage over it’s peers and could potentially skyrocket Alita in Asia where 3D is still huge. The Eyes Alita’s eyes are completely intentionally and they purposely remind you that Alita is not human. Initially the reaction to Avatar was the same as what we’re seeing with Alita. People believed there was no way a film about blue CGI people would work. They were wrong and as soon as they sat in cinema they became emotionally invested and believe the characters were real. The same will happen with Alita and has been shown already from the reactions of press who were lucky enough to be shown full scenes from the movie. UPDATE: Who even cares about the eyes any more? Alita looks great in the latest trailer. Ghost in the Shell and Anime movies There's an argument being used that because all other Hollywood anime adaptions have failed that Alita will aswell. It sounds like a compelling argument at first glance but the problem is they're talking about literally three films (Ghost in the Shell, Dragon Ball Evolution and Speed Racer). All three films were poorly received which is bad for new IPs (in the west) and only GiTs is really comparable but even that is a stretch. Alita and Ghost in the Shell are very different films when you go a level deeper than “anime films with robot girl”. Ghost in the Shell is a crime/drama with hard philosophical undertone’s targeted at male adults. Whereas Alita is an action/romance with big world-building and large spectacle yet grounded in emotion that targets the same audience that Avatar did. Rodriguez said about “Ghost’s” box office failure. “I think it’s because they didn’t connect emotionally. I felt like I was only looking at it; I wasn’t feeling it. Our story and character feel so relatable. That’s why we used real sets. It’s got to be really grounded. James Cameron produced Solaris and Sanctum While these films were produced by James Cameron it’s disingenuous to compare them with Alita Jim had a hands-off approach. Cameron’s involvement in Alita is huge as the film itself it’s Robert delivering Jim’s vision of Alita to the screen, Jim’s spent much time answering many of Roberts questions almost as a mentor while providing the script along with detailed notes and initial designs/storyboards. UPDATE: Sanctum made a bunch more money that it should have anyway, Jim's name alone propelled it to millions of dollars in profit (>$100m Worldwide on a 30m budget). FROM JAMES CAMERON AND JON LANDAU... THE PRODUCERS OF AVATAR AND TITANIC In the trailer for Alita the big names are dropped and they will create a buzz no doubt. This is a positive no matter how you look at it the question really is how much impact will those names have? Sanctum is the only film to both Avatar and Titanic as a hook, it made $110m worldwide of a $30m budget. The film was poorly received which is normally a death sentence for an original film, I would put it's success down to Jim's name being attached. Alita starts with an A Keeping up the famous tradition of Jim films only starting films with an A or a T, the film has renamed the English naming of the manga from Battle Angel Alita to Alita: Battle Angel. Furthermore, showing this is Jim’s baby. Landau has actually called Alita Jim’s baby in an interview so this is by no means hyperbole. Dua Lipa to sing the official song "Swan Song" Bill Pope and Junkie XL We have Bill Pope the cinemtographer for The Matrix Trilogy, The Jungle Book (2016), Baby Driver and Spider-Man 2, working his magic on Alita. Then we have Junkie XL the composer for Mad Max: Fury Road, Tomb Raider (2018), Batman vs Superman (duo with Hans Zimmer) and Deadpool, also working his magic on Alita. These are two high profile names within the industry and will have had a high price tag to use, both have done their fair share of action films and are suited for the task at hand. James 'Jim' Cameron Robert Rodriquez calls Alita a Jim Cameron movie rather than a Robert Rodriquez style movie. Landau says Cameron is actively involved with the post-production on Alita, adding, “This one clearly has Jim’s imprint.”. Jim was also quoted last year as saying he's been working on Avatar during the day, Alita on nights and Terminator on the weekends. So are you ALL-IN with Jimbo, IN to win or OUT to hate on ‘Akita’ with @AJG? And for all the haters.