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– by Stephon White

NYCC has come and gone. While at a roundtable with our very own Jace Milam, Alita: Battle Angel director Robert Rodriguez discussed the upcoming film, which is produced by Hollywood heavyweight director, James Cameron of Avatar fame. The film was recently pushed back to next year and is currently primed to hit theatres on February 14, 2019. Date night anyone?

While talking with journalists and fans, Rodriguez made clear that Alita lead actress Rosa Salazar is brining something completely new to the role. The director goes to say that it’s not the CGI which makes Salazar, Alita’s star actress so refreshing. It’s the actress herself that imbued her performance with a real warmth, and something not seen in a female character before.

Here’s the news straight from the horse’s mouth:

“When she came in, I was stunned. I sent her to Jim [Cameron] and said, ‘I don’t want to jump the gun but if we had to shot tomorrow, she would be the girl.’ He went, ‘I don’t think we need to look any further. This is definitely the girl.’ But we went ahead and kept looking and did the whole process and put her through screen tests and just reaffirm that she was the one.”

RELATED – Alita: Battle Angel Director On Why The Film Was Delayed Twice

Wow. It sounds like Rosa Salazar really nails the character of Alita — at least as written for the film. But what is it that she does that really captured Rodriguez? Perhaps most interesting is that she brings an extra warmth that normally isn’t present in fighting characters like this, as Rodriguez notes.

“You’re not used to seeing a character that’s CG or that’s in a sci-fi movie like this, in a heroic role like this, that’s actually warm and relatable and that you really like and they can turn it on the other way. Because usually they’re just really stern and warrior-like. Then you need to have both sides, so that there’s a really soft side, an innocent side and she’s the most badass warrior.”

I don’t know about you folks but I already have Valentines Day 2019 preplanned; dinner and a movie. Let’s hope Alita: Battle Angel is money well spent. It certainly looks as if it will be a stellar film. The last trailer sure has me stoked.

Alita Battle Angel’s cast includes Django Unchained’ s Christoph Waltz as Dr. Dyson, A Beautiful Mind’s Jennifer Connelly as Chiren, Moonlight’s Mahershala Ali, Deadpool’s Ed Skrein as Zapan, Watchmen’s Jackie Earle Haley as a cyborg, and The Fate of The Furious Michelle Rodriguez as Gelda.

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SOURCE: LRM Online