While director James Cameron is getting ready to go into production on the Avatarsequels, his American film adaptation of the Japanese manga Battle Angel Alita will continue lingering in development until he’s finished telling the story of Pandora and the Na’vi. Supposedly he will have a completed Battle Angel movie in theaters in 2019 or 2020. But until then, the original Battle Angel manga’s author, Yukito Kishiro, is planning to re-launch a new book series in the second half of 2014.
According to Crunchy Roll and Yukito Kishiro’s personal blog, the new series will be tentatively titled Kasei Senki (Chronicles of the Mars War) and will continue the adventures of Alita, a cyborg who has lost all of her memories. The last manga in the series was published in 2011. Yukito Kishiro created Battle Angel Alita in 1990, and the newest ongoing series is called Battle Angel Alita: Last Order, which was started in 2001.
The manga’s story is set in a post-apocalyptic future. When Dr. Daisuke Ido, a cybernetics engineer, finds Alita in a garbage heap, he tries to restore her memories of her past, without any success, but throughout Alita’s journey, she recalls that she is proficient in a legendary cyborg martial art called “Panzer Kunst.” Her newly rediscovered skills lead her to become a lethal Hunter Warrior. While James Cameron will be trying to bring the film version of Battle Angel to the big screen, the manga’s author will continue to tell Alita’s journey through artificial intelligence and combat.
Last July, James Cameron said he was hoping to start development on Battle Angel in 2017, after Avatar 3 has been released. Now that we know that Avatar 3 won’t be in theaters until 2018, it looks Cameron’s live-action film adaptation will have to wait until then. Cameron was keeping Battle Angel on the back burner because he was waiting for CGI technology and live-action 3D to become advanced enough for him to bring the manga’s story to life properly on the big screen.
As for the Avatar sequels, they will make up much of Cameron’s creative work load for the foreseeable future. Principal photography on the Avatar sequels will begin this year at Peter Jackson’s WETA Studios in New Zealand. There are no plot details currently available for the sequels, but the character of Colonel Miles Quaritch, played wonderfully by Stephen Lang, will return to the film franchise. Lang will join Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana, who will reprise their roles as Jake Sully and the Na’vi warrior princess Neytiri, respectively.
At this rate, we may never see James Cameron’s Battle Angel film. While anime and manga is not as popular in the U.S. as it is in Japan, the American audience is growing all the time. Hollywood studios have quite a few adaptations of Japanese anime and manga in the works, including Akira, Gaiking, and Star Blazers (Space Battleship Yamato). Maybe someone like Guillermo del Toro or Peter Jackson can take over Battle Angel, so fans can finally watch a live-action movie on the big screen.