Robert Rodriguez Takes Over James Cameron's 'Battle Angel' Movie

October 14, 2015
Source: THR

Battle Angel

Some interesting development news regarding a science fiction project we've been following for years. Over at Hollywood Reporter, they're reporting that Austin, Texas-based filmmaker Robert Rodriguez is in negotiations to take over directing Battle Angel, the big sci-fi robot project that James Cameron had been attached to for years. In fact, Cameron is still a part of it, and provides a quote (see below) confirming he's just so busy with the Avatar sequels that he wants to let Rodriguez do it. If you recall, this is the movie that Cameron says he had to wait years for until the VFX were right, so maybe he has faith that Rodriguez can pull that off now. I'm not entirely sure if I'm particularly excited by this choice, but Cameron likes him.

The report says that Rodriguez will be working with James Cameron and his Lightstorm Entertainment producing partner Jon Landau. The story is based on Yukito Kishiro's popular manga series from the 90's known as Battle Angel Alita. Set in the 26th century, it tells a story of a female cyborg rescued from the scrap heap by a scientist. "With no memory of her previous life except her deadly martial arts training, the woman becomes a bounty hunter, tracking down criminals." The script was originally by Laeta Kalogridis, and has been referenced as being ready since at least 2009. Here's the included quote from James Cameron:

"Robert and I have been looking for a film to do together for years, so I was pumped when he said he wanted to do Battle Angel," stated Cameron. "He's very collaborative and we're already like two kids building a go-kart, just having fun riffing creatively and technically. This project is near and dear to me, and there's nobody I trust more than Robert, with his technical virtuosity and rebel style, to take over the directing reins. We're looking forward to learning a lot from each other while we make a kick-ass epic."

Well that sounds quite reassuring. I'm glad this is still being made under James Cameron's banner, and not Rodriguez's Troublemaker Studios, as it needs that kind of massive technical and financial support. Rodriguez also commented: "Battle Angel is an incredibly rich and vibrant epic in the tradition of Jim Cameron's spectacular, character-driven films. Getting to work from Jim’s terrific and visionary script while learning the cutting edge techniques he's pioneered is a master class in filmmaking. It's an honor to explore the world of Alita along with Jim and Jon, whose films have impacted me for decades." He's making the leap to big time sci-fi now! All of these quotes are meant to make us feel like this film is still in very good hands.

I'm intrigued to see how Robert Rodriguez's Battle Angel Alita turns out, and I hope it's still as grand and epic as Cameron was planning. Stay tuned for additional updates. Are you happy with this choice?

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  • son_et_lumiere
    Rodriguez is a film-making dynamo with some enjoyable distractions under his belt and a freewheeling sense of just getting out there and doing it, but if he signs up for Battle Angel, my interest goes in the other direction. Cameron's delayed to spend longer on his scripts for the Avatards, which is laughable due to how bad his *scripts* always are. but i'm sure he'd do a better job on Battle Angel than Rodriguez. maybe Rodriguez's low-slung, low budget grindhouse style will suit such a beloved property, bit i can't help thinking i'd prefer a well integrated action film with epic sci-fi spectacle. yet to be convinced.
    • SmarterThanThisIdiot
    Womp-womp...Rodriguez could make a good BATTLE ANGEL film, but his track record as of late has me worried. His work in his El Rey Channel is lackluster and he seems to just be resting. Maybe, maybe this large budget film can shake him up a little, but so many directors are just not cut out for blockbuster film making.
    • Wes Draven
      I think Robert Rodriguez' issue is he can't help beating a dead horse and jumping the shark with his films. People like Machete. Didn't like Machete 2. Liked the first two Spy Kids films. Not so much 3 and 4. Sin City? And his Dusk Til Dawn franchise hasn't been loved.
      • Danny Zarate
        I thought Sin City 2 was directed very well but the main storyline, which mainly falls under Frank Miller, was disappointing. And going 3D really hurt the movie as well.
    • Н.И. +
      Cameron is sick! avatar sickness made him to do such stupid things.
    • TheOct8pus
      Trust in the Rodriguez. He will make a good Battle Angel....he's fully capable, and he knows how to balance humor with darkness, which is a plus IMO.
    • Danny Zarate
      El Rey Network is awesome! Watched the Rocky marathon the other day. And they even played one of my favorite movies ever, which is Cobra! Not to mention Lucha Underground!!!
      • DAVIDPD
        Yeah, the network itself is pretty good, but Robert's work is lackluster.
        • Danny Zarate
          He does a lot more things than being a director. He has a vision that many directors are afraid to even think about. I think Sin City (2004) is a great movie; a movie that was very different and something that many directors wouldn't have thought about since most rarely think outside the box. And the original El Mariachi was actually very entertaining, despite having only a budget of $7K or so. From Dusk till Dawn and The Faculty are also one of my favorite movies. I agree that some of his work lately has not been as good but you can't take away what he's done throughout his career.
  • Charles Knowlton
    I can think of 5 directors who I would be willing to bet would be much better suited to directing this. I hate to call anybody a one hit wonder but Rodriguez, I'm willing to.
    • Wes Draven
      What exactly is his 'one hit'? From Dust Til Dawn? I liked his Spy Kids films a lot, they received critical acclaim, as well as box-office success. Minus the fourth film, of course. I thought they really showed a fun well-spirited kid film that was also enjoyable to adults. Sin City was very good as well, albeit, it was mostly the cinematography that carried that one, and I sort-of enjoyed Machete, albeit, that one was more bad than good.
      • ari smulders
        true, he can is certainly a great director and i loved from dusk till dawn...
    • TheOct8pus
      I don't think Rodriguez is a one hit wonder. Maybe not ALL his films are hits, but pretty much all of them have some sort of cult following (The Mariachi trilogy, Spy Kids, Sin City, Machete, Dusk Till Dawn, Planet Terror)....and I'll take him over Michael Bay or any other cookie cutter director. He has his own unique style and vision, and he's an all around filmmaker - producing, writing and even composing music for his films.
  • Cyberdine
    This is interesting......
  • jay
    Strange transition? I guess Rodriguez seems more suited towards the source material in my opinion, but id like to see how hes able to adapt to what Cameron already has in place. Wasnt this a project Cameron had been working on for a while? Avatar is a much more promising cinematic endeavor but Im surprised he just turned it over completely.
  • TK
    This is very surprising. Considering he has been working on getting it off the ground for so long. I hope that he doesn't regret doing so and I hope Rodriguez can make a good go of it. By the way Alex, Ethan got a really nice huge post on Vin Diesel's instagram page.
  • Payne by name
    It's such a shame that Cameron is squandering away these years with Avatar.
  • Chris McDermid
    James, James, James.... Battle Angel is okay, PLEASE do Bubblegum Crisis much better!
    • TheOct8pus
      There are like 200 anime I'd rather see before a live action Battle Angel....not so say Battle Angel sucks, but what happened to Cowboy Bebop? A Trigun movie would be nice too....I could go on all day.....
  • Bob Cranston
    Why would they give such an amazing property to a hack director?
    • Н.И. +
      Because Cameron loves fucking pandora!
    • TheOct8pus
      A hack?? He wrote, produced and directed most of his movies AND scored some of them. Maybe you think he's derivative (which he is) but so is Tarantino. Maybe you don't like his films, which is cool, but he's definitely an all around filmmaker. Just watch El Mariachi - it was done on a budget of $7,000 and it's a real movie - better than most multi million dollar budget Hollywood blockbusters.
      • Dan Hibiki
        5% of his movies are decent, the rest are unwatchable train wrecks.
        • TheOct8pus
          5% would be less than one movie.... heh heh...
          • Dan Hibiki
            that is correct
      • Bob Cranston
        Sorry I should have said "shit director".
        • TheOct8pus
          That may be your opinion and you're entitled to it, but he's still better than 99% of the cookie-cutter directors for hire that Hollywood churns out every year....not to mention newcomers like Josh Trank, and the biggest hack of all, Seth Grahame-Smith.... ....and don't get me wrong. I'm not even a Rodriguez fanboy. I can name maybe 3 of his movies that I really enjoyed, but I can see that he has a style of his own, and I commend him for actually "making" movies rather than sitting in a chair yelling "cut" and getting a paycheck for it.
          • RodriguezsButtBuddy
            He's a below-average director. In other words, more than 50% of working Hollywood hack directors are better than Rodriguez. Look at the average ratings for films he directed on IMDB. Many of his films are complete dogshit. He does not deserve this property.
          • Danny Zarate
            From Dusk till Dawn, The faculty, Sin City, El Mariachi, Road Rage, Desperado were all great movies and the other ones were OK (except for Machete 2, that one was horrible!).
  • ari smulders
    Not totally convinced about Rodriguez but if the Master has faith in him who i am than to criticize the choice. But i didn't expect these two are friends, but Cameron and Nolan as friends isn't either possible! Two masters in one room is for everybody to much to handle! :)
  • Н.И. +
    Go and die Cameron! you giving long waited project "Alita:Battle Angel" to the hands of a clown and nonsense director? This guy already ruined Predator by Predators are a nonsense guy after all this years Cameron, go to pandora old Cameron!
  • Н.И. +
    After all his wasted years in oceans for making weak documentaries and avatarz and saying welcome to Terminator 5!!! he did another nonsense thing and gave his long awaited project to a nonsense director, maker of Machete!!!! R.I.P Cameron and R.I.P Alita:Battle Angel!
  • TheOct8pus
    I, for one, am psyched to see what Rodriguez can do with this movie. He's a totally capable filmmaker and he has a vision that most "directors for hire" in Hollywood don't have. I say, have patience and see what he comes up with. Maybe Cameron gave this project up because he didn't think it was as "mind blowing" as he had originally imagined.
  • Higgens
    I feel like Avatar 2-47 or whatever are going to be bigger let downs in terms of storytelling than the first. I have no doubt they will be amazing to view, but I think that is all they may be. I fear Cameron may have the Riddly Scott syndrome.
    • Pincode
      His syndrome is avatarz but Ridley is clean.
  • Steven
    When Cameron gives the thumbs up on somebody I begin to worry....
    • Н.И. +
      Me too!
  • dessaintes
    Battle Angel is not a very exciting comic. I mean there are many I'd like to see adapted before. But it's my own taste and therefore not important. If they really love it and are excited about it they can make a great film. But there is one thing that sounds dreadful: a script by Laeta Kalogridis. She, unfortunately, is a guarantee for disaster.
  • Bill
    Does anyone still care about Avatar? I bought the BluRay when it came out and still haven't gotten around to watching it again (after seeing it at the theater).
  • Pincode
    The only true thing that he said is: "we're already like two kids'. nothing more Mr Cameron.nothing.
  • Mark Brackney
    ...Still want Keisha Castle-Hughes for this thing, maaan.
  • Ehsan Davodi
    Bad Choice , Good-By My Angle! WAR is OVER




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