Paperclips Magazine Issue 56: Alita


Issues, Critics and Revelations about ALITA

oing back nearly three decades ago, Alita: Battle Angel began as a manga (graphic novel) series by Yukito Kishiro called Gunnm and was later carried on in two anime original videos. The story takes

place in the post-apocalyptic 26th century where the wealthy live in the flying city of Tiphares while the poor live amongst their garbage on the ground. The story revolves around Alita – originally named Gally in Japanese – an amnesiac female cyborg found in a scrapyard by a doctor, rebuilt, and then set on a path of hunting down vicious criminals. In development since 1999, Alita: Battle Angel was first picked up as a feature film project with James Cameron, director of Titanic and Avatar , in the director’s chair. This manga movie seemed to stay in pre-production limbo for several years until director Robert Rodriguez was tapped to handle the film by Cameron and Titanic producer Jon Landau. During San Diego Comic-Con, Landau and Rodriguez discussed how the manga got the Hollywood treatment and why it took so long to develop this movie. James Cameron first began adapting the source manga in 2000 with an eye toward directing the project himself, before he switched focus to work on Avatar . He brought on Rodriguez to condense his 180-page original screenplay (plus 600 pages of notes) into a shooting script. Rodriguez was able to pare the story down while still maintaining the core scenes. The long journey from manga to movie for this iconic sci- fi


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