Alita: Battle Angel was released back in February but even in July it’s not come out as a home release. This might sound like a long time to wait for home video, and it definitely is by our modern standards, but 20th Century Fox are helping ease the burden by showcasing some of the special features that will be included on the Bu-Ray edition. The most recently released special feature looks at Alita’s journey from being a Japanese manga to an American blockbuster.
Every fan loves when an adaptation of something they enjoy attempts to be as faithful as possible to the source material and recognises that there’s a reason people love it. For Alita: Battle Angel, the director Robert Rodriguez scanned pages directly from the manga and turned them into scenes for his film. Some of the most incredible frames of the movie were taken directly from the manga, showcasing that this is as true an adaption as possible.
In the video provided, you can see that when Alita fought Grewishka in the movie, it was influenced by the manga a lot. There are even specific shots taken directly from the manga, such as when Alita launches herself at Grewishka and balances on one hand. Alita’s own look on the screen was taken from the manga too. It was a brave choice to do such a direct adaptation like that, and it could have gone wrong, but Rodriguez managed to pull it off perfectly.
The ”From Manga to Screen” bonus feature of the Alita: Battle Angel home release provides a really cool insight into not just how the manga by Yukito Kishiro became a feature film, but also the journey of the adaptation and how long it all took. James Cameron was working on the movie since the early 2000s, and the feature shows off some incredible concept art from 2005 that gives us a glimpse at what Cameron wanted to do.
I love the idea that the original concept art for Gummm/Battle Angel Alita from James Cameron became a legendary item in the concept art community because it looked so incredible and was worked on by so many talented artists. It’s so good that I wouldn’t be surprised to learn some fans of the original Alita: Battle Angel wanted to get prints of it for their walls.
When the time came for the movie to be made at last – with a different director too – the Alita: Battle Angel team looked through the original art and tried to preserve as much of the original vision as possible. This means that the final film bears a striking resemblance to that original 15-year-old concept art.
The reason for this is that Robert Rodriguez wanted to create a James Cameron film. He wanted to make the movie that he wanted Cameron to make; the one Cameron now can’t make because he’s busy with Avatar sequels. Rodriguez worked closely with Cameron and his team when putting the movie together. We already know that Cameron kept extensive notes on it, but this feature shows us how he worked with the designers from Avatar to create a world that matched both Yukito Kishiro’s original vision from the manga and James Cameron’s vision for the silver screen.
You’ll be able to look through this bonus feature for yourself – and more – when the movie finally lands on July 9 (for digital) and July 23 (for DVD, Blu-Ray, and 4K Ultra HD). There’s also a Collector’s Edition for the truly dedicated, which comes with two framed art prints and a 64-page art book. Check out the Collector’s Edition and grab your copy here.