Alita: Battle Angel chooses big eyes over controversy

Battle Angel Alita: anime vs. movie

We’re getting closer to the release of the Hollywood version of Alita: Battle Angel, and with that comes the release of the first trailer. Based on the footage it looks like the movie is hoping to avoid the controversy that surrounded the release of Ghost in The Shell, starring Scarlett Johansson.

Both projects find their roots in seminal manga works. In the case of Alita: Battle Angel, the original was created in 1990. Ghost in The Shell started a year before this. Both series eventually expanded beyond their manga roots, receiving anime adaptations. The two series also share DNA with their storylines, focusing on cyborgs trying to piece together their past, in a futuristic dystopian world.

After both having spent years in Hollywood development hell, Ghost in The Shell was the first  of the American adaptations out of the gate. The movie did not live up to the original, getting mixed reviews and flopping at the box office. On top of this, the movie proved to be controversial for casting the very white Scarlett Johansson as the lead for the very Asian story.

Alita: Battle Angel looks to embrace the look of its inspiration more closely. The likeness of the main actress – Rose Salazar – is used here as a basis to visually represent the character of Alita. What this means is that the latino actress’ performance appears to have been given a CGI make-over, which creates the big eyes look that is defining to anime and manga.

We’re not sure if this was the decision of producer James Cameron, or Robert Rodriguez, but we are on the fence about how successful this’ll turn out to be. Judging by the trailer it looks bizarre to see the CGI Alita interact with actors such as Christopher Waltz.

The question also exists if this’ll be enough to sidestep controversy. Check out the trailer and let us know what you think.

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