It’s been a long time coming, but Hollywood’s live-action adaptation of Battle Angel Alita, the classic sci-fi manga series by Yukito Kishiro, is actually finally happening next summer. Earlier today, 20th Century Fox put out the first trailer for the film, which will be landing with the slightly altered title of Alita: Battle Angel. After more than a decade of trying to make the movie happen himself, James Cameron, who we all know is busy directing Avatar sequels for the rest of his life anyway, handed the reins to Robert Rodriguez. Cameron has stayed on as a producer, as has his Titanic and Avatar partner Jon Landau. He also had a hand in writing the script, alongside Rodriguez and Laeta Kalogridis, whose last credit was Terminator Genisys.
Taking place in the dystopian future city of Iron City (known as Scrapyard in the English translation of the manga series), Battle Angel stars Rosa Salazar as Alita, an abandoned, amnesiac cyborg whose remnants are discovered by a “cyber-doctor” named Ido (Christoph Waltz). He rebuilds her, but soon enough, her past—i.e. killer cyborgs, like Ed Skrien’s character Zapan—starts to catch up with her and endanger the family and friends she’s made in Iron City. Luckily, Alita’s lost memories include knowledge of uber powerful robot martial arts, which we get a few brief glimpses at in the trailer. She’ll have to tap into those lost skills as she navigates this seedy city and attempts to learn the truth about her past. Alita: Battle Angel is set to premiere on July 20, 2018. It also stars Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Jackie Earle Haley, and Keean Johnson.