20th Century Fox is changing up their release dates, and for Alita: Battle Angel that means a significant delay.
Fox is switching up release dates for several in development projects, and one of those includes Robert Rodgriguez's Alita: Battle Angel. The film was pegged for a December 21st, 2018 release date, but now according to Deadline, the film has been pushed to a new release of February 14th, 2019 instead.
The report notes that the reason for the move isn't due to finishing up visual effects (it says those are already in "tip-top" shape) but is more about lining up and being day and date with the Chinese New Year.
Fans will be a bit bummed that they have to wait a bit longer for the film of course, but if the release date move helps it stand out from the crowded movie scene then it will be a smart move on their part.
For those unfamiliar with Battle Angel Alita (GUNNM in Japan), the series was originally created by Yukito Kishiro. The series is set in a post-apocalyptic future and follows Alita, a cyborg who is found in a garbage heap by a doctor and rebuilt. Completely devoid of her memory, all she has to cling to is a legendary cyborg martial art known as Panzer Kunst. With this knowledge, Alita decides to become a bounty hunter. Originally published in Shueisha's Weekly Business Jump in 1990, it was collected into nine volumes and licensed for an English language release by Viz Media.
Battle Angel Alita creator Yukito Kishiro recently gave his input on the new take on Alita. "In the beginning, I was surprised because [Alita's] eyes are big," Kishiro said, according to a translation by Anime News Network. "But when I saw what scenes there are, I stopped noticing it. When Alita is wet in the scene where she's exploring the spaceship sunk in the water, I started to think 'Cute!' I think everyone will come to like it soon."
While there has been some backlash against the movie's distinct look (especially in regards to Alita's pronounced eyes), Alita actress Rosa Salazar hopes fans will give it a chance, and knows the cast and crew took the source material seriously.
"It's in the right hands," Salazar told fans at the Crunchyroll Expo. "I like to think that I did my part. That graphic novel was dog-eared, with lots of colored tabs."