Motorball footage from Alita: Battle Angel revealed at NYCC!
20th Century Fox invited ComingSoon.net to screen footage from producer James Cameron and director Robert Rodriguez’s upcoming manga adaptation Alita: Battle Angel. While most of the 20-minutes of footage had been screened at other events, we were the first audience to see an unfinished, work-in-progress sizzle reel of the film’s showcase action sequence, the Motorball competition!
“Jim said those who are fans of the graphic novel would be pretty disappointed if Motorball wasn’t in this movie,” said Rodriguez at the panel. “So he found a really cool Jim way to incorporate it, and it’s really badass.”
The footage starts with an overhead of a huge stadium with a winding track, not dissimilar to The Wachowski’s Speed Racer.
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen… this… is… MOTORBALL! Contenders take your marks. And here comes the rookie… ALITA!
Alita (Rosa Salazar) comes out on skates and waves to the crowd, smiling. In the stands Ido (Christoph Waltz) is looking at the players through his binoculars and notices something and speaks to Alita through a walkie talkie.
IDO: That’s no factory team, they’re hunter warriors… Alita! It’s a setup, you’ve gotta get out of there. They’re gonna kill you!
ALITA: Which ones?
IDO: All of them!
“Go easy on me guys,” Alita says to the other players, who are all looking at her with murderous intent. All of them are bigger and more cybernetically-enhanced than she is.
What follows is an INTENSE, fast-paced competition that’s part Rollerball, part NASCAR and all-anime-inspired. Alita speeds through the track as other players attack her, and she dispatches them with speed and efficiency. At one point she tears a guy’s head off, and the severed head mutters “Oh crap” to himself before another player picks his head up. Did mention part of the object of the game is to collect heads?
Overall the footage -even in its unfinished state- wowed the crowd, and Fox should definitely consider incorporating more of Motorball into its Alita promotional campaign before the film arrives on February 14, 2019!
Visionary filmmakers James Cameron (Avatar) and Robert Rodriguez (Sin City) create a groundbreaking new heroine in Alita: Battle Angel, an action-packed story of hope, love and empowerment. Set several centuries in the future, the abandoned Alita (Rosa Salazar) is found in the scrapyard of Iron City by Ido (Christoph Waltz), a compassionate cyber-doctor who takes the unconscious cyborg Alita to his clinic. When Alita awakens she has no memory of who she is, nor does she have any recognition of the world she finds herself in.
Everything is new to Alita, every experience a first. As she learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield Alita from her mysterious past while her street-smart new friend, Hugo (Keean Johnson), offers instead to help trigger her memories. A growing affection develops between the two until deadly forces come after Alita and threaten her newfound relationships. It is then that Alita discovers she has extraordinary fighting abilities that could be used to save the friends and family she’s grown to love. Determined to uncover the truth behind her origin, Alita sets out on a journey that will lead her to take on the injustices of this dark, corrupt world, and discover that one young woman can change the world in which she lives.
Alita: Battle Angel also stars Jennifer Connelly (Top Gun: Maverick), Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, Green Book), Ed Skrein (Deadpool), and Jackie Earle Haley.
Directed by Robert Rodriguez, the film features a screenplay written by James Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis and Rodriguez. Based on the graphic novel series Gunnm by Yukito Kishiro, Alita: Battle Angel is produced by Cameron and Jon Landau.