It’s a wild time to be involved in a fanbase. Supporters of filmmakers like Zack Snyder or David Ayer are seeing incredible progress in their campaigns to get unreleased versions of movies like Justice League and Suicide Squad released. And people like Snyder and Ayer are lending their support to the online efforts, blurring the line between filmmaker and fan when it comes to restoring artistic integrity, usually in the name of a good cause.
A similar campaign has sprung up around Robert Rodriguez’s Alita: Battle Angel in recent years, with fans clamoring for a sequel to the movie (which ended on a significant cliffhanger). The movie’s star, Rosa Salazar, and its producer, Jon Landau, have encouraged the fan base to make noise so that Disney hears them. And their latest campaign has a component to raise awareness, while also benefitting an important charity.
Inspired by a recent Instagram post by Jon Landau, the Alita Army is raising funds to pay for a digital billboard that they will purchase on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. Their goal will be to run an ad for an Alita: Battle Angel sequel 30 times per hour. They raised $1,617 in six hours to complete the transaction, and this will allow the billboard to run from June 1 to June 7.
Here was the Landau post that triggered the billboard campaign.
However, the Alita Army is taking a page out of the Release the Snyder cut playbook. In addition to raising funds to pay for the Los Angeles billboard that would call for the Alita sequel, the group also has called attention to an Amazon Wish List promoted by Rosa Salazar that allows patrons to purchase essential items for homeless people. Salazar says that she has bene getting DMs asking how fans can pitch in after they saw her making donations to homeless in her community. This inspired the Alita Army to get involved, and you can read all about their efforts on this page.
Normally, I’d never really know how any of this might shake out. We never dreamed that Zack Snyder’s Justice League would get released, and now it’s coming to HBO Max. Robert Rodriguez’s Alita: Battle Angel made $404 million worldwide, and movies that made less have received sequels. So anything is possible, even though Fox (which backed Alita) is now owned by Disney, and a sequel to Alita likely would be pretty expensive.
But so long as there’s hope, the Alita Army will fight… and do a little good for the world in the process.
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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.