The Spotlight: Robert Rodriguez tries to explain why his Battle Angel Alita character has weird giant eyes

The Spotlight: Robert Rodriguez tries to explain why his Battle Angel Alita character has weird giant eyes

(image via 20th Century Fox)

When director Robert Rodriguez dropped the first trailer for his upcoming Alita: Battle Angel over the weekend it seemed to generate some weird buzz. A little confused and indifferent, but none of it was overly positive.

James Cameron has owned the film rights to the Yukito Kishiro's Battle Angel Alita manga since 1999, but he and his producing partner Jon Landau have been waiting for the technology to catch up to their storytelling.

That story centers around Alita, a amnesiac cyborg who becomes a sort of bounty hunter. [If you're a Ghost in the Shell fan spend some time on watching the OVA. It's excellent.]

So, about the technology we've been waiting for? It sounds like a lot of it has to do with making a woman, in this case actress Rosa Salazar, look like a cartoon.

(via IGN)

"In the early artwork I saw that Jim had, before it was even technically possible, it had that in her," Rodriguez says of the enlarged eyes. "It was so striking and so arresting I thought, 'Oh my god, we have to do that. We have to be the first to bring a true manga anime character to life.' She can talk and emote with real actors and make it be photo-real. It would be the first time anyone ever sees that.

"So it was finding the right design element and still experimenting with the size and the face that carries it. The eyes are the window to the soul. You've got some big windows to see a lot of the soul that goes on within that character. The character has such great heart and great soul."

I guess we'll have to wait and see, but as a fan, I'm pretty bummed by the look. With the eyes Rodriguez and Cameron have sort of outed her as being artificial, which isn't something the character is broadcasting openly throughout her story. 

Starring Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly and Mahershala Ali, Alita: Battle Angel hits theaters July 20, 2018.


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