Alita: Battle Angel is one of this year’s biggest sleeper hits; it did well at the box office and absolutely smashed home media sales yet Disney haven’t green-lit the sequel. Regardless, Cameron is still keen.
Despite a lacklustre advertising campaign Alita: Battle Angel managed to do quite well at the box office. The film doubled its budget of $200m earning $400m world wide. Although that may not seem like a lot, that is actually pretty impressive for a brand new stand-alone franchise.
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Battle Angel had an uphill battle from the get-go and was lucky that it wasn’t placed into movie limbo. After Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox, Disney was essentially competing with themselves by releasing two female superhero movies around the same time. Obviously Disney put the majority of of media focus on their Marvel epic leaving Alita to speak and fend for herself… and so she did. In spite of a poor advertising budget, word of mouth reviews for James Cameron’s Alita: Battle Angel were overwhelmingly positive which translated into outstanding home media sales.
By no interpretation was Alita: Battle Angel a financial failure and fans are itching for a sequel. Unfortunately, Disney have gone hush on the topic. It is unlike a studio to refuse to green-light a popular film after it has been released on home media. It is speculated that Disney executives are refusing to back the new project due to political reasons, but regardless James Cameron is still interested in making an Alita sequel, with or without Disney’s help.
Cameron explained the sentimental value Alita has and how the project is special to him. “Alita has been near and dear to me for a long time, and I could not have imagined anyone better than Robert to realise my vision, while still creating something that is so distinctly ‘him’.”
James Cameron said he first acquired the rights with his daughter in mind when she was just seven years old, and his vision has taken decades to materialise on screen under director Robert Rodriguez. Speaking at the London premiere of the Alita, Cameron said: “This is something for women.”
The sequel will most likely happen after Avatar 2 which is currently being cast. New Zealand comedian, Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Concords), and Michelle Yeoh (Crazy Rich Asians) are the latest talents to join the Avatar 2 cast.
Jim’s production company, Lightstorm Entertainment, is behind the special effects in Alita: Battle Angel, and Terminator: Dark Fate. Their current focus is on the long, and highly, anticipated Avatar sequel. Because of the size and scale of the current production it is likely that we wont hear anything about Alita until Avatar 2 completes production.