With the recent news that the live-action Battle Angel Alita film has found its leading lady in Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials‘ Rosa Salazar, the entertainment news site Deadline has reported that Fox is projecting the movie’s wide release for July 20th, 2018. Considering that producer James Cameron’s last input was that he wouldn’t start work on Alita until he finished directing his four Avatar sequels, if the film does meet this deadline, it’ll be far sooner than expected. Whether that’s for better or worse, well, that remains to be seen.

As in Yukito Kishiro’s Battle Angel Alita manga and subsequent OVA, the movie’s premise details a scientist stumbling upon a female cyborg in a trash yard. Awakened, but with no memory of her previous life except for her martial arts skills, she becomes a bounty hunter. The action-adventure story itself is set against the themes of love and self-discovery long since well-trodden in manga and anime.

While Cameron and John Landau are producing, Robert Rodriguez of Sin City is tapped to direct, and Shutter Island‘s Laeta Kalogridis has written a script. As for the ongoing manga, the latest series, GUNNM: Kasei Senki (Battle Angel Alita: The Martian War Chronicles), launched in Kodansha’s Evening magazine last year, having moved from Shueisha’s Ultra Jump after a dialogue dispute between Kishiro and the publication.

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