Released in February 2019 (about a month before Disney formally acquired Fox), Alita: Battle Angel stars Rosa Salazar as the titular hero, a cyborg who awakens in the 26th century with no memory of her past but is helped by the kindly scientist Dr. Dyson Ido (Waltz).
Using the old rule of thumb that a movie needs to double its budget to make a profit, Alita was a modest hit but a success nonetheless, taking in $405 million at the box office on a $170 million budget. In spite of this, a sequel has yet to be announced and Waltz suspects it has more to do with the franchise’s new owners than anything else.
Probably Won’t Happen No Longer
Speaking with Collider to promote his new Quibi project, Most Dangerous Game, the Oscar-winner assured he’d “Of course!” return for Alita: Battle Angel 2, saying “I know that people liked it and aside from what others said, I loved it and I liked working on it and I liked the result.”
He also admitted he hasn’t heard anything about a sequel happening and speculated it has to do with Disney buying Fox, before adding “Maybe it doesn’t fit into the Disneyfication, but I have no clue. I have no clue.”
It stands to reason Waltz is right about Disney being the biggest roadblock to Alita 2 at the moment. Following their acquisition, the studio cancelled a number of developing Fox movies (including their big-budget Mouse Guard adaptation) and has been hesitant to green-light anything new that isn’t part of an extremely-profitable brand like Avatar.
Not As Huge As Star Wars or MCU
Alita, as mentioned, is right on the cusp; the original film performed well enough, but nowhere near the box office numbers Disney earns from its live-action remakes or IPs like the MCU and Star Wars, so the studio has only so much incentive to develop a followup.
At the same time, the movie brought in decent reviews, with critics praising its stunning visuals and the way it combines Cameron’s sci-fi interests with Rodriguez’s themes about class. Moviegoers were similarly receptive and have been calling for a payoff to Alita‘s sequel tease ever since.
So now, what do you all think about this guys?