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Robert Rodriguez Talks Possible Alita: Battle Angel Sequel, And How Star Wars’ Book Of Boba Fett Factors In

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At the moment, Alita: Battle Angel director Robert Rodriguez is a bit busy. In the years since the burgeoning cult classic was released, he’s delivered streaming hits like We Can Be Heroes for Netflix. Not to mention, he’s also been playing around in the world of Star Wars with The Mandolorian and now, The Book of Boba Fett. And if Mr. Rodriguez has his way, that second series will be the key to giving the Alita Army the sequel it keeps clamoring for, as he’s quite pleased with the work that’s been put in so far.

While promoting his work co-directing the Disney+ special, Billie Eilish: Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles, Robert Rodriguez was pressed for details about his new Star Wars project. And as he spoke with The Nerdy Basement, Rodriquez hyped up The Book of Boba Fett as ready to “overdeliver” on the promise it’s shown. Which, as he describes further along in that same interview, is part of his strategy to bring Alita: Battle Angel back into the forefront:

I’m hoping I’m earning some point by doing so much for Disney, cause they own it now [they bought Fox], and that’s why we weren’t able to jump right into the sequel, because of that whole thing. But now they are starting to release some of the Fox stuff.

It’s the oldest play in the book, and Robert Rodriguez is using it to his advantage. And should he knock out a hit for the home team with The Book of Boba Fett, the results could be so overwhelming that he’ll earn the chips to finally make Alita: Fallen Angel a reality. It’s the story that could help end the almost three-year wait for some sort of action on a sequel, though that’s nothing compared to how long it took Alita: Battle Angel to arrive.

The original project was developed at the studio for a little over two decades, and talks of a trilogy continued when Robert Rodriguez took the reins from the project’s original shepherd, Avatar’s James Cameron. However, the two worked closely as collaborators, and that bond is still present. Though Cameron is more focused on returning to the world of Pandora in Avatar 2 and its intended sequels, Rodriguez admits that his mentor and pitch buddy is still in touch:

I’m trying to see what happens with Boba Fett, I think that’s going to knock people’s socks off so when that happens I will go in and say, ok, I’ve been here for a while, let’s figure out how we can do Alita whether it’s for streaming or theatrical because it’s such a great property, people love it, I love it and Jim [Cameron] loves it. We just talked about it recently again, about how can we do this, what’s the best way to approach it, I think it’ll be me going in there with him to talk about it because I’m doing a lot of stuff for them [Disney] now.

With Free Guy and Vacation Friends finding homes in theaters and on streaming in the past month, the Fox-era titles that Disney still has in the bank have been wandering out into the world. The success of the Ryan Reynolds' blockbuster is especially emboldening, as Free Guy has been a delightful surprise in its theatrical-only release model. However, with social media seeing Vacation Friends pick up some positive notices as a fun comedic romp, that pathway is particularly valuable as well. So it’s good that Robert Rodriguez is keeping his options open, though ultimately it may not be his decision.

If The Book of Boba Fett allows for Alita: Fallen Angel (or whatever the sequel may be called) to go into development, theatrical may be the sole option for initial release. Considering Alita: Battle Angel was released under the old 20th Century Fox system, which had an agreement that required its films to go to cable before even hitting streaming, that extra stumbling block could be an important factor in deciding the project's fate. A streaming debut might be an easier sell, thanks to the more modest results the first film raked in back in 2019.

For now though, Robert Rodriguez is optimistic about an Alita: Battle Angel sequel, provided fans flock to The Book of Boba Fett. Disney+ could have its next massive streaming hit on its hands, as that series is supposed to debut at some point in December 2021. So if you want to catch up on The Mandalorian, or any of the other Star Wars series and films in the franchise, you’ll want to head over to Disney+. Which, if you’re not a current subscriber, is part of the Disney Bundle; alongside ESPN+ and Hulu. So you should definitely check out the most recent subscription offer to take part in the magic.

Mike Reyes

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.