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‘ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL’ An Eye-Popping Spectacle Without an Ending

Assembled from the scrapyard of a nine-volume run of cult mangas from the 90s, Alita: Battle Angel is the joint production of director Robert Rodriguez and producer James Cameron. Looking at it from a distance, you might assume the costly mega-manga adaptation were more the work of the later. And that’s anything but a ding. Alita has the look and feel of a Cameron sci-fi epic. The world building is sprawling. The effects are tip-top. The spectacle is massive. There’s a reason the blockbuster guru said that the “only way” to experience his latest was in a theater. He wasn’t lying.  Read More

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Stephen Lang Will Return for AVATAR Sequels

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Stephen Lang, the actor who played the nefarious Colonel Quartich in Avatar, has been confirmed by James Cameron to return and reprise his character. Despite the spoiler-fact that Quartich died at the end of the Avatar, Cameron is determined to work him into the remaining films of the series and isn’t revealing much, at least not to Deadline: “I’m not going to say exactly HOW we’re bringing him back, but it’s a science fiction story, after all. His character will evolve into really unexpected places across the arc of our new three-film saga. I really look forward to working with such a gifted actor, who’s also become such a good friend.” Lang for his part has been keeping busy with film and TV roles, most recently showing up in Pioneer and The Monkey’s Paw.

 

When pressed further in a subsequent interview with Vulture interviews on the news, Cameron opened up the full bag of science fiction tricks for fans to speculate over: “Okay, here’s the deal. When you have a science-fiction series, a science-fiction franchise, you’re never dead unless your DNA is expunged from the Universe, and then there’s always time travel!” While totally inconclusive for those hunting after the sequels’ plots, fans of the hard-bitten security chief have something to look forward to in the following films. Given the billion-dollar gross that Avatar pulled in during it’s 2009 run,  these upcoming films are poised to make full use of amazing resources, both dramatic and digital, to try and capture some of the original’s magic.

This comes on the heals of Avatar star Sam Worthington’s reveal that Avatar 2, 3, and 4 begin filming simultaneously next fall. The release dates of the upcoming trilogy start with Avatar 2 in December 2016, the 3rd film following in December 2017 and the 4th coming a year after that. Josh Friedman (War of the Worlds) will write the 2nd film, Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) the 3rd, and Shane Salerno will write the 4th (Armageddon). The talents brought on to the trilogy and it’s shooting schedule are reminiscent of Lord of the Rings, showcasing the high ambitions the producers have for the trilogy’s potential. As more casting decisions and spoilers are revealed – it’s a long and busy road to 2016 as far as Hollywood is concerned – this revelation concerning Lang may prove to be one of many in what will certainly be a big, big set of films.

 

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