ByÂ JQ magazineÂ editorÂ Justin TedaldiÂ (CIR Kobe-shi, 2001-02) forÂ Shukan NY Seikatsu. Justin has written about Japanese arts and entertainment for JETAA since 2005. For more of his articles,Â click here.
Hollywood adaptations of famous anime and manga series have a history of troubled birth and indifferent reception. â€œSpeed Racer,â€ â€œDragonball: Evolution,â€ and â€œGhost in the Shellâ€ didnâ€™t click with fans of the source material, nor did they gain new ones through the interpretations of directors who might not have grasped their appeal in the first place. â€œAlita: Battle Angelâ€ looks to change that trend.
Produced and co-written by James Cameron and directed by Robert Rodriguez (the â€œSin Cityâ€ and â€œSpy Kidsâ€ films), â€œAlitaâ€ brings original creator Yukito Kishiroâ€™s epic to the big screen. Rosa Salazar (â€œMaze Runner,â€ â€œBird Boxâ€) plays the titular heroine, a cyborg with saucer-like eyes and a combat-scarred past who is revived in the post-apocalyptic future world of Iron City. Using her newfound skills as a bounty hunter, Alita fights to rediscover her humanity and find a place in her new surroundings.
With a cast that includes Academy Award winners Christoph Waltz, Mahershala Ali and Jennifer Connelly, along with a reported $200 million production budget with Dolby Cinema and IMAX 3D screenings, â€œAlitaâ€ has received advance praise: â€œThe A.V. Clubâ€ calls it Rodriguezâ€™s â€œbest movie in ages,â€ and â€œThe Vergeâ€ calls it â€œa worldbuilding triumph.â€
First published in 1990 under the title â€œGunnmâ€ and recently reissued here as deluxe hardcover editions by â€œAttack on Titanâ€ publisher Kodansha Comics, the film adaptation was first considered by devotee Cameron as his feature follow-up to â€œTitanic.â€ Rodriguez came aboard in 2015 as the steward to his vision, which includes 1,500 CGI shots in native 3D, climaxing with Iron Cityâ€™s motorball competition, which blends turbo racing with gladiatorial combat.
â€œAlita: Battle Angelâ€ premieres in North America February 14. For more information, visit www.foxmovies.com/movies/alita-battle-angel.