Alita: Battle Angel is a 2019 American cyberpunk action film based on Japanese manga artist Yukito Kishiro’s 1990s series Gunnm and its 1993 original video animation adaptation Battle Angel. It was directed by Robert Rodriguez and produced by James Cameron, who co-wrote the script with Laeta Kalogridis. Rosa Salazar stars through performance-capture animation as the titular heroine Alita, a cyborg who awakens in a new body with no memory of her past, so she sets out to uncover her destiny. Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, Jackie Earle Haley, and Keean Johnson star in supporting roles.
Announced in 2003, production was repeatedly delayed due to Cameron’s work on Avatar (2009) and its sequels. After years of development hell, Rodriguez was announced as Alita‘s director in April 2016, with Salazar cast as the lead the following month. Principal photography began in October 2016 in Austin, Texas, mostly at Rodriguez’s Troublemaker Studios, and lasted until February 2017.
Alita: Battle Angel had its world premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square on January 31, 2019, and was released in the United States on February 14, 2019, by 20th Century Fox in RealD 3D, Dolby Cinema, 4DX, ScreenX, and IMAX 3D formats. It is the first film produced by Lightstorm Entertainment since Avatar. The film grossed over $404 million worldwide, making it Rodriguez’s highest-grossing film. It received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for Salazar’s performance, the action scenes, and the visual effects but criticism for the screenplay.