While Alita: Battle Angel was a moderate success when it was released in early 2019, fan adoration for the Robert Rodriguez-directed film hasn’t died down. Fans have been clamoring for Alita: Battle Angel 2 for quite some time now, and if a new rumor is to be believed, they might soon get the follow-up they’ve been craving.
According to pop culture gossip writer Daniel Richtman, Disney might be considering some form of sequel to this story. It is not clear where Richtman got his information from, or whether this new project would be either Alita: Battle Angel 2 or some form of Disney+ series. Considering Disney has recently announced their focus on streaming releases, it would make sense that a new Alita: Battle Angel story would likely be on Disney+ in some form.
Talk of an Alita: Battle Angel 2 has been hopeful, despite the original film reportedly either barely breaking even or losing over $50 million, depending on which reports one reads. The film made just over $85 million in the United States, but worldwide, Alita: Battle Angel made over $400 million. Despite that, the constantly delayed production, the amount of special effects, and the advertising budget made Alita: Battle Angel cost more than expected.
Producer and co-writer James Cameron announced Alita: Battle Angel in 2003, but was constantly delayed due to Cameron’s work on Avatar and its sequels. Robert Rodriguez started filming in 2016, and wouldn’t debut until January of 2019. With a massive budget and an extremely long production, Alita: Battle Angel was still Robert Rodriguez’s highest-grossing film. However, one would imagine that with the technology now nailed down, efforts on an Alita: Battle Angel 2 would take less time and cost less money to produce.
Part of the hopes for an Alita: Battle Angel 2 comes from a fervent fanbase that has been extremely vocal in their admiration for this series. In recent weeks, a group known as The Alita Army started a campaign to get Alita: Battle Angel re-released in theaters as a way to show Disney that there is passion for the franchise. Cinemark Theatres said that they were considering the rerelease, as was Regal Cinemas and AMC Theatres, until Regal closed once more due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cameron has confirmed that Alita: Battle Angel will return to theaters at the end of October, while Rodriguez has shown his support for re-releasing the film.
Yet the fan response towards Alita: Battle Angel hasn’t always been positive, or even particularly well thought out. When Alita: Battle Angel was released, it was considered a right-wing alternative to Captain Marvel and the film’s star Brie Larson, who had preached the importance of representation for females. Upon hearing this, fans of Alita: Battle Angel rallied behind the #AlitaChallenge, where fans would boycott Captain Marvel by going to see Alita: Battle Angel instead. The boycott didn’t show a significant change in Alita: Battle Angel’s box office, nor did the people behind the boycott seem to realize that both Alita: Battle Angel and Captain Marvel were owned by the same company, after Disney’s purchase of 20th Century Fox.
While Cameron and Rodriguez have held out hope for an Alita: Battle Angel 2, the original film’s stars haven’t seemed as optimistic. After rumors popped up that Jai Courtney might be currently filming the sequel, the actor stated that this wasn’t the case. Another Alita: Battle Angel actor Christoph Waltz has said that a sequel seems unlikely, considering Disney’s purchase of 20th Century Fox. In past interviews, Rodriguez has said that cameos from actors like Courtney, Edward Norton and Michelle Rodriguez in Alita: Battle Angel were meant to set up larger roles in any future sequels.
It might seem unlikely that Disney would make an Alita: Battle Angel 2 only because of positive fan reaction, the company is apparently working on bringing some of 20th Century Fox’s biggest franchises over to their own brand. Last year, Disney announced they would be rebooting the Home Alone franchise with a new film starring Jojo Rabbit’s Archie Yates. Disney is also planning on turning some 20th Century Fox properties into television shows. Currently, the streaming service is working on series based on The Sandlot, True Lies, and Percy Jackson & the Olympians.
With Disney’s attempts to lower costs, from firing thousands from their North American parks, to shifting their focus to streaming, it seems unlikely that an infamously expensive and drawn out production would be on the company’s priority list. Yet, it does seem like Disney wants to utilize 20th Century Fox brands that still have audience interest. Alita: Battle Angel 2 might not seem too feasible right now, but in the future, it’s possible we might see the return of this series in some way.