ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL Director Explains The Reasoning Behind The "Anime-Eyes" That Has Everyone Freaking Out

Following a fairly solid debut trailer, the only thing being discussed online about Alita: Battle Angel is the title heroine's weird eyes...

Terminator and Avatar director James Cameron had been trying to make a live-action Battle Angel Alita adaptation for over a decade. However, when the project finally began to make serious progress, 20th Century Fox decided to push forward with the Avatar sequels, meaning Cameron would be unavailable to direct his passion project.  Enter Robert Rodriguez, director of Sin City and Grindhouse

However, with the launch of the first trailer for the film, online chatter has been focused on one thing, the anime-eyes placed on the cyborg title character, as played by Rosa Salazar.  Speaking to Empire Magazine, Rodriguez explained, "It was always [James Cameron]’s intention to create a photo-realistic version of the manga eyes that we’re so accustomed to seeing. We really wanted to honor that tradition and see that look standing next to any human character. To have the right person to emote behind it was really essential. Her origins are in the film and you understand why she looks that way. If the eyes are the windows to the soul, we have some pretty big windows. You can see a lot going on in there! When it gets to the emotional scenes it’s really uncanny and striking. And captivating!"

There's still a long time between the film's release in July 2018 so it will be interesting to see whether Fox, Cameron and Rodriguez stick on the current course or if the next trailer will show tweaks to Alita's vfx eyes.  It's definitely something to track over the next 7 months.

Set in the 26th century, Alita tells of a female cyborg (Salazar) that is discovered in a scrapyard by a scientist. With no memory of her previous life except her deadly martial-arts training, the woman becomes a bounty hunter, tracking down criminals. The action-adventure story is meant to serve as a backdrop to themes of self-discovery and the search for love.

The full cast for the film includes:
  • Rosa Salazar as Alita
  • Christoph Waltz as Dr. Ido
  • Jackie Earle Haley is rumored to be playing Desty Nova or possibly Kaos
  • Ed Skrein as Zapan
  • Mahershala Ali as Vector
  • Keean Johnson as Hugo
  • Lana Condor as Koyomi
  • Leonard Wu as Kinuba
  • Marko Zaror as Ajakutty
  •  Jorge Lendeborg Jr. as Van/Tanji 
  • Eiza Gonzales in an undisclosed role
  • Jennifer Connelly in an undisclosed role
  • Michelle Rodriguez as Gelda
Robert Rodriguez directs, while James Cameron serves as executive producer.  Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis wrote the script.

Alita: Battle Angel currently has a July 20, 2018 release date.
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