Alita producer Jon Landau says Alita 2 is on the backburner due to the Avatar sequels being a priority.
With Avatar: The Way of Water being a smashing success, James Cameron and the rest of his team have been busy pushing onward for what will become the third and fourth installments in the franchise. One of those working tirelessly on the next two movies is Jon Landau, who served as a producer for both the 2009 film and its recent follow-up. With a lot of projects on his docket, Landau has often found himself faced with the question from fans about the title Alita 2 – something he says is still in the works even if it isn’t at the top of the deck.
In an interview with Screen Rant, the news site had Landau right where they wanted him while throwing questions his way about Avatar 2. Posing the quandary that every Alita 2 fan wanted to know, the interviewer asked if the film would ever see the light of day or if the cliffhanger from the tail end of the first feature would remain forever. “We’re working on it,” Landau responded – breathing hope back into the long-thought-lost project.
While nothing has yet been set in stone, Landau shares how Avatar 2 better shaped what was possible for Alita 2, giving those behind it a clearer path forward. The major factor in helping the studio push forward with the follow-up to the 2019 film, Alita: Battle Angel is what the producer learned through “facial nuance.” As he says, there is a specific art behind shaping characters “to be emotional and emote that are humanoid.” And, while he notes that Alita wouldn’t have been what it was without Avatar, such is the same for Alita 2 without Avatar: The Way of Water.
Giving more hope to fans for an Alita 2 to go into production sometime soon, Landau said that he was already in talks with the original film’s director Robert Rodriguez and its star Rosa Salazar, commenting that “all is good.” With this latest batch of comments it’s now becoming more likely than ever that once Landau and Cameron get their schedules cleared, a follow-up film could be on the way.
Penned by James Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis, the 2019 action flick brought Yukito Kishiro’s manga series, Gunnm, to the big screen. In it, Rosa Salazar stars as the titular character, a cyborg who finds herself in an unrecognizable body with no memory of where she’s from or where she’s supposed to be going. Like Alita 2 has been slowed down by Avatar: The Way of Water, the first film was also pushed back because of Cameron and Landau’s involvement in Avatar, but as Landau said in his interview, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing.
Using state-of-the-art motion-capture animation as they did in Avatar, the producers and filmmaker were able to really bring the character to life. Along with Salazar the film also starred Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Skrein, Mahershala Ali, Keean Johnson, and Jackie Earle Haley. With so much up in the air for Alita 2, it’s unclear who, if any, of these stars would return for another tussle with destiny and adventure should the follow-up film move forward.