We’re coming up on the one-year anniversary of the release of Alita: Battle Angel in February and the film had huge expectations for its box office returns because it was a spectacle focused former James Cameron (Avatar) directorial project that was handed off to Robert Rodriguez that many believed would be the next billion-dollar hit.
The pricey film ended up only earning $404.8 million globally on a budget of $170+ million and the numbers seemingly derailed their original trilogy plans for the time being.
Cinemablend recently spoke with the film’s producer Jon Landau (Avatar franchise) about the possibility of the sequel happening and how fans could help out.
LANDAU: “What I think the Alita Army should do is keep peppering our family now at Disney and [let them know] how important it is to have another Alita movie and hopefully we’ll venture there one day.”
Also, admitting that they had mapped-out two more stories as they had indeed wanted to make a trilogy. The final act of the film was already attempting to set up Edward Norton’s Nova as the big bad of the second movie.
LANDAU: “Absolutely. … When Jim [Cameron] was going to direct us, which he was at point, in his mind he had plotted out two additional stories of where we would go very specifically.”
Even if Disney/Fox announced something in the near future, Jon talks about the reality of how long it takes to get a movie of that size from script to the big screen.
LANDAU: “I think when you can talk about any movie, and I won’t talk specifically about Alita, but your first step is writing a script. You’ve got to assume that’s going to take you 12 to 18 months to write a script. Assuming that script is great, you then have a six to 10-month pre-production. You then have a six-month shoot. You then have a year of post-production and that’s just any movie of this ilk.”
When asked about the potential of Alita sequels heading to Disney+, Landau says he and James Cameron would love to get involved with future streaming projects.
LANDAU: “Well, I won’t speak specifically about Alita. I would just tell you that I think Jim [Cameron] and I love the opportunities that streaming and these other avenues of distribution are offering people today. And you know, we would love to get into those playgrounds and play in them, no matter what the title is.”
The Avatar franchise is certainly big enough and ripe for a streaming series as they could explore the human-side of the films (more cost-effective than setting shows on Pandora) either on Earth (Netflix’s Altered Carbon proved it’s possible budget-wise) or on the various other colonies across the universe.
Alita sequels might be a little more tricky because of the motion capture effects involved unless Weta Digital develops a television division like ILM has for The Mandalorian.
Jon Landau and James Cameron are currently busy trying to make sure Avatar 2 is ready for release in December 2021.
Set several centuries in the future, the abandoned Alita is found in the scrapyard of Iron City by Ido, a compassionate cyber-doctor who takes the unconscious cyborg Alita to his clinic. When Alita awakens, she has no memory of who she is, nor does she have any recognition of the world she finds herself in. As Alita learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield her from her mysterious past.