Robert Rodriguez is back. And from the looks of it, he’s coming back guns blazing. Except his latest film, Alita: Battle Angel doesn’t actually have that many guns. If the first trailer for this adaptation of the beloved manga property is any indication, we’re getting some good old-fashioned martial arts kicking and punching. Produced by legendary director James Cameron, Alita finds Rodriguez going full Matrix with a dystopian cyberpunk flick that has at its center a kick-ass female lead.
Rosa Salazar plays Alita, a cyborg who has no recollection of her past life. Discovered and brought to life by Ido (Christoph Waltz), Alita soon finds that her amnesia may perhaps be hiding not just secrets about herself, but about the state of the bleak future she’s awakened to. With wide-eyes that echo her manga roots — and which give Salazar an uncanny look — she’s ever curious about her history and about the curious talents for fighting she soon discovers. Those actually come in handy when Terminator-like cyborgs start hunting her down. Jam-packed with the flair for visuals and thirst for action Rodriguez is known for this December release looks like it might be the young protagonist-fights-the-system-flick Ready Player One hoped it would be.
As usual, the Texan director has made sure to bring together an eclectic ensemble to bring this long-gestating project to life. And while Salazar may seem like a new face, she’s no stranger to action-packed properties. She played Lynn in The Divergent Series: Insurgent and Brenda in Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. Moreover, she’s an accomplished writer-director, responsible for the Sundance-screening short Good Crazy. Joining her are Oscar winners Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahersala Ali, as well as fellow Latinas Michelle Rodriguez and Eiza González.
Watch the full trailer below where you’ll get to see Alita crack jokes with her newfound best friend Hugo (newcomer Keean Johnson), get herself an upgraded body suit from a mysterious underwater facility, and go full Jason Bourne as she’s pursued by cyborgs who boast blades and chains for arms.
Alita: Battle Angel opens December 21, 2018.