The following contains spoilers for the end of Robert Rodriguez’s Alita: Battle Angel. Stop reading now if you do not want to know more about the movie’s ending.
By the time you reach the conclusion of Alita: Battle Angel, you realize that it’s really just the first chapter in what could be a much larger saga. Fans of the Manga comic on which this new movie is based understand that. There are volumes of stories that can be told about Alita (Rosa Salazar), and Rodriguez and his producer James Cameron – who once developed Alita as a project for himself – had to figure out how much they wanted to include.
As such, when you get to the end of Alita: Battle Angel, it actually feels like a beginning. The girl has risen to the status of warrior, and she identifies her greatest threat in Nova (Edward Norton). Speaking on the ReelBlend podcast this week, Rodriguez spoke about his decision to end there, explaining:
Alita: Battle Angel is built for sequels. Based on the cyberpunk comic series by Yukito Kishiro, the story started back in 1990 and lived on, in assorted mediums, for years. James Cameron, in fact, first started developing his take on Alita more than a decade ago, and was deep into development before he got sidetracked by another little project called Avatar.
With Cameron over in Pandora, Robert Rodriguez shifted from Sin City and Spy Kids movies to take a crack at the Battle Angel of Iron City. And it turns out that he inherited a wealth of prep material from Cameron with which to start. Rodriguez spoke at length about this outline when interviewed on the ReelBlend podcast, telling us:
Will Robert Rodriguez be able to make another one? Right now, that’s in the hands of theatergoers, and they can vote with their ticket sales if they’d like to see Alita: Battle Angel turn into a viable franchise. It’s not even a guarantee that Rodriguez would be back for the next one. Producers James Cameron and Jon Landau are the driving forces behind this, and if it does go forward, they’ll go with the right person for the job. (Though Rodriguez poured his heart and soul into the opening chapter.)
Listen to the full interview with Robert Rodriguez in the latest episode of our weekly podcast, ReelBlend:
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.