– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Robert Rodriguez has a very distinct filmmaking style. He’s not all about making clean-and-polished movies. More than anything, he’s about challenging himself creatively and moving at the speed of thought, be it while on set, in writing, or in the editing stage. The result? His movies are fun and kinetic, but ultimately lack the steady, deliberate hand of other seasoned contemporaries.

But with his next upcoming film, Alita: Battle Angel, he’s looking to change that. As you may or may not know, Alita: Battle Angel is a project that’s been in development by James Cameron for many years. When it became clear that he would be making Avatar films for the foreseeable future, he gave Robert Rodriguez permission to tackle the project.

Though while Rodriguez is putting all his creative juices into this one, he looks like he is leaving his normal filmmaking style at the door in service of delivering what he feels like would be a James Cameron film, as he revealed at a recent roundtable interview with our own Jace Milam at New York Comic-Con:

“I was really excited about jumping in there and figuring out how he does it because you have to craft it like a Jim Cameron movie. I didn’t want to make a Robert Rodriguez movie just like I didn’t want to make Sin City into a Robert Rodriguez movie. I wanted to make a Frank Miller movie or a From Dusk Till Dawn, a Quentin Tarantino movie. So you have to get into that style. The challenge is getting … and the fun is stepping out of your own comfort zone and doing something that’s more …”

RELATED – Alita: Battle Angel Will Have An Unexpected Actress As An Extra

Rodriguez continued:

“My stuff is very whimsical because I can’t afford to do realism. But also that’s just my style because I’m a cartoonist and that’s not Jim Cameron’s style. His science fiction is more science fact. So if I can go create a cyborg that might move … As long as it looks like it could walk across the screen, it’s fine for me. He doesn’t buy that. He’d be like, ‘That’s not real. That shoulder wouldn’t move.’ For him that blows the illusion. You have to make everything very rounded in science fiction for him in order to for you to in-buy the fantasy that goes on above it.”

“That totally makes sense, so it was … just those are the kinds of challenges you were constantly challenging yourself with that’s not your norm, that is the right way to go. It was very exciting. I have to say. I mean it was fun to do because at the end of the day, I wanted him to watch this movie and feel like he made it and go like, ‘Wait, when did I shoot this?’ Because he had written it so clearly visually. You could see the whole movie. I wanted to see that movie. So my job was to go make what he created come to life so that he wouldn’t have to because he was going to be busy with “Avatar” because otherwise we would never see this movie. You wouldn’t want to just make it and have it not be right. Last thing I wanted was for him to go watch it and go, ‘Damn it. I knew I should have shot it myself.’ So I really had to go make it … him feel like it was a Jim Cameron movie.”

Rodriguez is really well known for putting some intense restrictions on himself, be it the budget or timetable. Rest assured, some of those aspects will still make it to the movie, but more than he has recently, he seems to be working in favor of bringing another filmmaker’s vision to life than his own, which can be a good thing.

But can Rodriguez actually succeed in making a film that’s technically on par with James Cameron? It’s one hell of a bar to reach, and we certainly hope he can reach it!

What do you think of this comment from Rodriguez? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.