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– by Campbell Clark

Robert Rodriguez’s Alita: Battle Angel released earlier this week in the UK and hits the US starting next week on February 14th. The film is based on manga Gunnm (Battle Angel Alita in English-speaking countries) and has been in development for years and years, originally with James Cameron at the helm, but later when he decided to make the Avatar sequels, it passed on to Robert Rodriguez.

LRM‘s own Gig Pata caught up with Rodriguez recently and the talk turned to how Alita ended up being set in South America whereas the original manga was set near Kansas City. Here is what the director told us about how this change came about.

“Actually the funny reason, (originally this manga took place near Kansas City), but Jim [Cameron] was the one who’d chosen years ago to set it in South America for purely scientific reasons, because a space elevator would only work near the equator. So he figured it would be, you know scientifically near Panama City, which I thought was fantastic because it gave us a lot more color and you know, kind of a Latin cultural look that you’ve never seen in a Sci Fi film before. So again it adds to the melting pot feeling. All the different cultures live there because it’s one of the last cities left in the World.”

An interesting decision which bore fruit for Rodriguez vision of a multi-cultural last city on Earth. I have not managed the time to catch Alita: Battle Angel yet, but it certainly looks colorful and exciting. Heck, I just managed to catch Aquaman last weekend for the first time, so I am going to have to play catch up a bit with some of the cool movies hitting theaters this year.

RELATED: LRM EXCLUSIVE – Alita: Battle Angel – Robert Rodriguez Didn’t Feel Constricted By The Studio Despite The $150 Million Price Tag

Are you a fan of the original manga, if so what do you think of the change from Kansas City to Panama City, does it work better for you? Share any thoughts you have in the usual spot below.

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SOURCE: LRM Exclusive