Alita: Battle Angel – the first trailer

“I think you are someone very special…”

Based upon the popular 90s manga series Battle Angel Alita by Yukito Kishiro, comes Alita: Battle Angel from director Robert Rodriguez with the backing of producer James Cameron. Prepare to jump into the uncanny valley as CGI and human performance meet in the middle to create really big anime eyes.

Rosa Salazar stars as Alita, a cyborg rescued from the scrapheap by kindly scientist Dr Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz) but her forgotten past comes back to haunt her.

Cameron has been developing this project since the turn of the century but has stepped aside as director in order to focus on making Avatar films for the rest of his working career. However, his expertise in blending the real world with computer effects should prove crucial in building this futuristic cyber-punk world. It’s not really new territory for Rodriguez either following his work on Sin City, although this will be a far more mainstream and visually complex project.

Hollywood’s recent appropriation of Japanese works have been divisive with the 2017 Ghost in the Shell adaptation accused of whitewashing after casting Scarlett Johansson in the lead. This film doesn’t really seem to have diverted from that path, which isn’t surprising but is somewhat disappointing given how much else is taken from the source material.

Mahershala Ali, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Skrein and Jackie Earle Haley also star.

Alita: Battle Angel arrives in cinemas on 20 July 2018.