James Cameron's and Robert Rodriguez's 'Alita: Battle Angel' Heading to Comic-Con (Exclusive)

Fox’s Alita: Battle Angel is heading to Comic-Con, but fans are going to have to earn the chance to see her.

There will be a sneak peek, as well as a Q&A with some of the cast, of the movie, directed by Robert Rodriguez and produced by James Cameron and Jon Landau, but it won’t actually take place in Hall H or the San Diego Convention Center.

Instead, the panel, set for Friday, July 20, will take place at the Regal Theater Horton Plaza. It will occur in the evening.

Rodriguez, Landau as well as stars Rosa Salazar and Keean Johnson will be on hand for the proceedings. In order to get in, conventioneers have to participate in a scavenger hunt and win tickets.  

“You have to earn your way there,” says producer Landau of the process. “We think it’s a fun way to do it. And we’re excited to show what we made.”

Titled Alita: Battle Angel – Pillars of Iron City Search, the hunt calls for participants to use a passport obtained at the Loot Crate booth to collect six Alita-themed stickers in order to win a prize. Other partners include Titan Books, Hot Toy/Slideshow Collectibles, Prime One Studio, Weta Workshop and Funko.

When Landau and Cameron were at Comic-Con in 2009 to present Fox’s Avatar, they were in the famous and historic Hall H. This time, the producers and studio are taking a new approach.

“It’s doing something different and unique,” says Landau. “It’s about getting out there and involving a small group of people who are engaged. There is nothing wrong with Hall, but this felt like the right approach for this."

Alita stars Salazar as a young cyborg with no memory who is taken by a doctor, played by Christoph Waltz, and given a new lease on life in mean streets of Iron City. But when the corrupt forces that run Iron City come after Alita, she discovers keys to her past lie in her latent and unique fighting abilities.

“What makes it special is that it has the trademarks of a typical James Cameron movie,” says Landau. “It has a strong female protagonist with universal themes. Alita as a character goes on a journey of self-discovery. She thinks of herself as an insignificant girl. Through her journey she comes to realize that within her is the ability to make a difference. I can think of no greater universal message today.”

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