Cameron had been working on the idea of bringing it to theaters for over 20 years, but handed over the project to Rodriguez as Cameron focused on his “Avatar” sequel.
“Robert came in and said, ‘Hey, we want to make the most live-action film that will fit what everyone pictures a manga film should be,'” recalled Weta visual effects supervisor Eric Saindon.
The story follows Alita, a woman who wakes up in the future with no recollection of who she is. Dr. Ido (Christoph Waltz) discovers the cyborg girl while searching for spare parts and takes her under his wing. He seeks to repair her and knows that inside this cyborg is a woman with an extraordinary story to tell. Alita soon discovers she possesses incredible fighting skills which come in handy as she seeks out on a journey of self-discovery and along the way has to fight cyber-dogs and engages in a deadly sport, Motorball.
Robert appreciated the importance of creating the character using state of the art performance capture technology,” producer Jon Landau added. “The whole paradigm of production is actor centric.”
With the right director on board, the Weta team went to work. “The biggest factor in the whole thing for bringing everything to life was Rosa Salazar who plays Alita,” Saindon said. Their approach was simple. Since the world mixes live-action with computer-generated characters, Rodriguez was advised to let the actors “interact,” including letting them kiss and touch. The technology would come after. “The real challenge,” Saindon recalls, “was capturing that connection between characters.”
Read the full article in Variety.