Alita: Battle Angel 2 - How Could It Continue?

by Tom Hartig on November 13, 2021


Manga movie adaptations don't always have an easy time with critics. When you also attempt to do it as a live-action film, there are often vast differences between what the audience imagined and the final product. Nevertheless, there are also surprises every now and then, such as "Alita: Battle Angel" by Robert Rodriguez. The film about the cyborg Alita was more than impressive, which is why fans are eagerly awaiting a second part. The screenwriters would have plenty of material for it, since the movie only deals with the first two volumes of the nine-part manga. Besides, there is still an alternative ending with "Battle Angel Alita: Holy Night and Other Stories" that can be told. Yet, how realistic is a second part actually and what could it be about?

End of Part One

It is true that the story of the first movie unfolds very quickly and by leaps and bounds, especially gathering momentum at the end. Therefore, we have briefly summarized the most relevant aspects. If you haven't seen the movie yet and would rather avoid spoilers, you should skip ahead now. 

Alita is a cyborg girl who was found and reassembled by Dr. Dyson Ido in a scrapyard of Iron City. After finding out that her father is not only a doctor but also a bounty hunter, also referred to as a Hunter-Warrior, she wants to join him to fight against the evil cyborg assassin Grewishka. Plus, she finds the love of her life in a human named Hugo. He wishes for nothing more than to get to Zalem, the big, wealthy sky city that hovers over Iron City. As the movie progresses, Alita learns not only that she is a former elite fighting machine with hidden powers, but also that Hugo has been robbing cyborgs and cannibalizing them for the motorball tournament of a powerful man named Vector in order to earn his way to Zalem. 

In the confrontation with Grewishka and his allies, Hugo ends up being severely wounded by the Hunter-Warrior Zapan. Alita and Chiren, Dr. Ido's ex-wife, can only save his life by turning him into a cyborg as well. Thanks to Chiren, Alita finds out that Vector is basically controlling the whole city as well as the assassins. Thus, she sets out to confront him. Once she arrives, she realizes that he too is merely a puppet being controlled by the powerful scientist Nova from Zalem. Wanting to stop her, the latter sends Grewishka after her again. However, she can easily defeat him using her new equipment and Zapan's sword. Thereupon she kills Vector and ends the conversation with Nova by telling him not to underestimate her. Hugo, meanwhile, is desperately trying to get to Zalem. Alita tries to stop him, yet he is shredded by the city's defense ring. Months later, Alita is the star athlete of the motorball tournament. As the crowd cheers, she points her sword towards Zalem while Nova watches her from there.

Possible Plot

Possible storylines can of course best be derived from the original manga from the early 90s. The first movie deals with the first two volumes, and partly with the third volume. The latter is about Alita's rapid rise in motorball. After Hugo's death, she tries to put her life as a hunter-warrior behind her and rather deal with her grief. Here the second movie could tie in nicely. In general, the fast plot development could also shed some light on sequences from Alita's earlier life. But above her past and the motorball career is, of course, the issue of Zalem. What does the sky city actually look like and who lives there? Besides, it was teased at the end that the brains of some adult humans were removed, for instance, from Vector and Chiren. By inserting microchips instead, Nova can gain control over people's minds and bodies. But just how many of these zombies are there in Iron City? After all, Nova is presented as the real villain at the end of "Alita: Battle Angel". That doesn't necessarily have to be the case, though: In fact, in "Battle Angel Alita: Last Order", Alita and Nova join forces in Zalem, making him one of the most important allies she has. Of course, this raises the question of who is actually in charge and pulling the strings behind the scenes. 

In addition, there is a Hunter-Warrior that we definitely need to keep in mind for a possible second part: Zapan has had the most sacred thing for him ruined by Alita, namely his face. He is surely out for revenge and will stop at nothing to get it. The fact that he is unscrupulous was already shown by the manner in which he used Hugo to make Alita a target, ultimately stabbing him to death. It is conceivable that he will join forces with a powerful enemy from Zalem as they attempt to hunt her down. In the manga, one character appears, which we would particularly like to see in a second part: Kaos, who has psychometric abilities. He can learn everything about his counterpart's past by a mere touch. In the manga, he thus becomes an important person when it comes to working out Alita's warlike backstory. He is also the one who detects and terminates the special dependency between Zalem and Alita. Something that surely some fans can also envision is a prequel that mainly deals with Alita's early life. The manga series "Battle Angel Alita: Mars Chronicle" is about exactly this period, though not only about the great war of that time, but also about life on Mars and Earth and the troubles between the two planets. We notice that there is definitely enough material. If Robert Rodriguez and James Cameron are going to make another movie, we can assume that they will mostly be inspired by the original manga. In "Battle Angel Alita: Last Order", the storylines differ too much from what was aimed for in the first film after all. Because even though the director stated in an interview that he considers the film and the story to be a concluded story arc, there is still a lot to be told in our opinion.

Odds for a Part Two

Well, enough of the big talk, let's get to the most important thing: What are the prospects for a second part? Here, too, opinions differ. We will focus on the facts. In the United States, the film grossed just about $85 million, with production costs of nearly $175 million. The movie managed to make up for that with a worldwide box-office result of 405 million. However, the rather weak earnings prompted Twenty Century Fox not to make a sequel for the time being. Shortly afterwards, Fox was acquired by Disney and the film has been available on Disney+ since July. Producing partner James Cameron further revealed that there are already over 600 pages of notes, which only need to be evaluated. Director Robert Rodriguez, who has taken a great liking to the franchise, would also be ready for a second part. Even though he regards the storyline as finished, it is evident that there is still more than enough to tell about the young cyborg lady. The growing fanbase around the whole project would also speak in favor of this. Similar to Justice League with the hashtag "SnyderCut", more and more fans in the online community are demanding a sequel to the film with the hashtag "AlitaSequel". However, Disney has not expressed any opinion on the matter yet. It is also worth mentioning that Rodriguez is currently working on, or at least collaborating on at least four other projects. So it seems that on the part of the director, we won't be seeing a sequel anytime soon. However, one should never say never. After all, there is more than enough content to be found in the manga, and if we are being honest, we would like to see the story of Alita told even further.

That was our Original to "Alita: Battle Angel 2". But let us ask you guys something: How badly do you desire a second part? Or is your opinion the same as Rodriguez's, that the story of the first movie is already a good, finished one? We believe there should be at least one more film, and a prequel would be great as well.

Image of ALITA: Battle Angel 2 - Zapans Revenge?