In a little less than two weeks’ time, February 14 will mark the one-year anniversary of the release of Alita: Battle Angel. In the year since its debut, the Robert Rodriguez directed, James Cameron-produced science fiction movie has amassed a passionate fanbase that is eagerly awaiting news of a sequel-- news that to this point has yet to materialize. Addressing the fan campaign for a sequel, Alita: Battle Angel’s VFX supervisor Richard Baneham said:
If you want to go talk to Disney, you're welcome. The truth is, there is a very rich world of material to be tapped into. I think it's just a matter of studio choices and whether or not it's the right property to be able to evolve.
Simply put, the (motor)ball is in Mickey Mouse’s court. In the time since Alita: Battle Angel opened in theaters, Disney’s purchase of 21st Century Fox was finalized, making Disney the studio that would theoretically have to greenlight any Alita sequels. So for those fans in the Alita Army actively campaigning to get Alita 2 made, the marching orders are quite clear: talk to Disney.
Lightstorm Entertainment’s Richard Baneham gave no indication that they have heard any word on a potential sequel to this point, and by the sound of it they don’t really have any idea of whether Alita 2 will happen or not. However, his suggestion to talk to Disney reflects his willingness to dive back into that world. It’s a world that is well worth exploring in greater detail in his mind.
Richard Baneham echoed the sentiments of many Alita: Battle Angel fans when he told Insider that there is a rich world of material to tap into in an Alita sequel. The mythology exists to capitalize on, but it’s not just a matter of whether he sees it that way or the fans see it that way, Disney has to see it that way. The Mouse House needs to be convinced that this is a property with potential to grow and evolve and that making Alita 2 would be a smart choice.
To do that, those that want to see Alita 2 and beyond need to make their voices heard all the way in the halls and offices of Disney’s Burbank studios. They need to let Disney know that the demand is there for this franchise to continue and that doing so would be a smart business decision. That is basically what the campaigns have been doing but I suppose it simply has to continue until there is a definitive answer either way about Alita 2.
Should Alita 2 actually happen, Richard Baneham and the visual effects team on Alita: Battle Angel would likely be thrilled. The VFX supervisor said that the team all wants to do another one. That team was robbed of an Oscar nomination for Best Visual Effects for the way Alita gracefully vaulted over the uncanny valley, but I digress. So now it’s just a matter of making Alita 2 happen.
Alita: Battle Angel was a movie clearly made with a sequel in mind and we know that James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez have ideas mapped out for where that sequel could go. Unfortunately, the numbers may not be in Alita’s favor. It’s worldwide box office of $404.8 million was actually fairly respectable for a brand new franchise, but Alita was also a very expensive film with a budget of $170 million.
As Richard Baneham noted, it comes down to whether Disney thinks that it can build on the first film and believes that this is a property with the potential to grow and become profitable. I tend to think it is, but testing that theory is a financial gamble Disney may or may not want to make.
We’ll keep you updated on the latest the fight for Alita 2. In the meantime, check out our 2020 Release Schedule to see what movies you can look forward to this year.