Like any fervent fandom, Alita: Battle Angel’s legion of devotees are looking forward to a potential sequel that follows up the story of 2019’s sci-fi spectacle. This particular quest seems to have hit a bit of a stumbling block for the time being, and several opinions have stated that it’s all really up to the folks at Disney to decide whether to move forward or not. But what if Alita: Battle Angel could move to another studio, in hopes of keeping its franchise doors open?
It sounds a bit off at first, for sure. But with a recent development that’s seen a crucial personnel shift between 20th Century Studios and Paramount, those looking for Alita: Fallen Angel to become a reality have found new hope. We’re about to explain everything that could lead to a new studio picking up Alita: Battle Angel from the scrapheap of development hell, and potentially put the series back on track for a bright and bountiful future.
Why Alita: Battle Angel’s Sequel Could Switch Studios
The big development that took place recently was the fact that Emma Watts, a big whig in the 20th Century Studios ranks that crossed over during the Disney acquisition, has now become the president of Paramount Pictures. Alita Army loyalists were quick to connect the dots with this one, as Watts’ big move reunited her with Jim Gianopulos, her former Fox co-worker and current chairman/CEO of Paramount Pictures. Variety’s announcement of this event was quick to mention that, during their time together, franchises like the Andy Serkis-fueled Planet of the Apes reboot and the Kingman series came to pass.
But what also unites them is the fact that Alita: Battle Angel was developed on their watch, as Emma Watts joined the Fox ranks in 1998, with Jim Gianopulos coming on board in 2000. Alita: Battle Angel was already spinning the wheels in James Cameron’s mind at this point, and the ensuing decades would see the film eventually find itself brought to life under Watts’ tenure as the president of Fox. With these two comrades in arms united, folks think that since Emma Watts and Jim Gianopulos kept Alita: Battle Angel alive for so long at their previous employer, they could pull a rabbit out of their collective hat and bring the project to Paramount.
How Alita: Battle Angel Could Switch Studios
Should Emma Watts and Jim Gianopulos be intrigued with the prospect to revive Alita: Battle Angel at their current shop in Paramount Pictures, there’s some wrangling that would need to be done. It all comes down to one very important factor, which is the fact that Disney is the current rights holder to the property. That Fox merger put a lot of toys into the magical studio’s backyard, and as we’ve seen with everything from The Mouse Guard to Deadpool 3, there’s a hierarchy of the sorts of properties the studio would be interested in pursuing with their own coin.
The hopes of Alita: Fallen Angel becoming a potentially beautiful reality lies in whether or not Disney would be amenable to letting the property go to another studio. The reason for that is, thanks to the ever present Fox merger that took place not too long ago, Disney would probably have the right of first refusal to any potential Alita: Battle Angel franchise building. Hypothetically, all it would take is an admission that the series is not a going concern at its current studio home, a deal that would please all involved, and the signatures to put it all into motion and Alita: Fallen Angel could happen.
Would Disney Ever Sell Alita: Battle Angel?
It sounds like a simple scenario, doesn’t it? All Disney has to do is give up its claim to Alita: Battle Angel, and then the series could move into another studio’s lot. That’s how it would work, provided that the Mouse House actually wants to pass on an Alita sequel. With the recent news that a sequel to Tron Legacy is still in development, a decade after the modest hit was released into theaters, that’s not exactly a cut and dry possibility.
However, if Tron 3 moves forward at Disney, one would think the studio might want to hold onto Alita: Battle Angel a little longer. Much like the results of Tomorrowland’s box office dance influenced the studio to supposedly pull the plug on Tron Ascension, the success or failure of this new Tron project could put Alita: Fallen Angel on the fast track to production if it hits. Should that film crash and burn, or if Disney feels that the two flashy sci-fi properties would conflict with each other, another studio (like Paramount) could easily swoop in and buy those rights up in a flash.
Which Studios Would Be A Good Fit For Alita: Battle Angel?
Paramount Pictures feels like the best fit for Alita: Battle Angel, as not only does Emma Watts and Jim Gianopulos’ collective experience with the franchise tip them as folks that truly understand how it works, but also the studio has partnered with producer James Cameron in the past (most recently on Terminator: Dark Fate). While writer/director Robert Rodriguez’s participation would be key to getting this film off the ground, Cameron’s relationship with the property would be a kicker to getting things started.
As such, any studio that James Cameron has had a good relationship with would be a great prospect when it comes to inheriting the Alita: Battle Angel universe. The three major players that could not only cash in on their previous work with Cameron, but also claim to have the cashflow to do such a thing in the right measure, are Universal, Paramount, and naturally, Disney. So if Alita: Battle Angel’s current home isn’t going to bite, it’s Universal and Paramount’s game to win; with the latter option’s new org chart looking like the best option overall. Though, it should be noted, both studios have already engaged in acquiring discarded films from the recent Disney purge.
There’s a lot of moving pieces that need to fall into place with Alita: Battle Angel’s prospects for the future, and Emma Watts’ hiring at Paramount could be the key to pushing things along at a new, more interested home. Should this be the case, there’s hope for not only reviving Alita: Fallen Angel, but also The Mouse Guard or any other discarded properties in previous development at Fox. Ultimately, the fans will need to make their voices heard, and the powers that be will have to have some meetings to discuss those wishes. It doesn’t seem impossible, as Alita: Battle Angel was made in the first place, and that feels pretty spectacular in and of itself.
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Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.