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Robert Rodriguez Breaks Down How Much the Manga Inspired Alita: Battle Angel

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A side-by-side comparison between the manga and the film.
Image: 20th Century Fox (YouTube)

Alita: Battle Angel was a film over a decade in the making, with director Robert Rodriguez eventually stepping in for James Cameron to complete his dream project. Both Cameron and Rodriguez had big plans for how the film would pay tribute to Yukito Kishiro’s manga, and in this latest behind the scenes featurette we get to see how.

In the video, Rodriguez and some of the other folks behind the scenes share how Alita: Battle Angel, starring Rosa Salazar, was adapted for the big screen. It took a long time, and the project saw several delays before finally moving forward. In the meantime, Cameron’s original design concepts became famous amongst professionals in the concept design community.

“The original Battle Angel design development was something that was kind of legendary in the concept art field. We’d all heard whispers of it,” concept design supervisor Dylan Cole said. “[There’s] a lot of DNA in that design work we tried to keep.”


Rodriguez was heavily inspired by the initial work Cameron had done on the film, but also wanted to make sure he added his personal touch. According to one producer, one way Rodriguez did this was scanning the first three books of Alita: Battle Angel and highlighted specific panels he wanted to create shots for. Something you can see reflected in the final product.


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