Alita: Battle Angel—the James Cameron-produced, Robert Rodriguez-directed, American live-action movie based on the Japanese Battle Angel Alita manga–got the short end of the stick, culturally speaking.
While critics' reviews were mixed (our reviewer loved it), the movies' slick animation and compelling world building earned it a dedicated fanbase and a reputation as one of the only good American adaptations of an anime or manga franchise. Unfortunately, a number of supposed Battle Angel Alita fans also seemed to have an ulterior motive, using the movie as fuel for their alt-right crusade against Captain Marvel. These actions likely derived from a very small minority of the Alita fandom, but ultimately lead Battle Angel Alita to become viewed as "a right-wing alternative to Captain Marvel"––a frankly unfair categorization for a female-centric action movie with a Latinx star.
But while alt-right reactionaries have mostly moved past Captain Marvel on to fresher targets (read: whatever hurt their feelings this week), serious Battle Angel Alita fans, who call themselves Alita Army, have remained steadfast in their support of the franchise. And now that Disney has officially acquired 21st Century Fox, Alita Army is rallying for a sequel.
Disney/20th Century Fox
The desire for a sequel isn't arbitrary. The Battle Angel Alita manga ran for nine total volumes from 1990 to 1995. Alita: Battle Angel only covers the events of the first two, setting up the series' fascinating cyberpunk future but obviously leaving a whole lot more for the narrative to accomplish in future installments. Assuming someone liked Alita: Battle Angel and knew what the manga held in store, there would literally be no reason for them not to want a sequel.
Jon Landau, who produced Alita alongside James Cameron, added fuel to the fire during an interview with CinemaBlend, telling fans, "What I think the Alita Army should do is keep peppering our family now at Disney and [let them know] how important it is to have another Alita movie and hopefully we'll venture there one day."
The Alita Army makes their wishes clear through the #AlitaSequel hashtag, and on glorious days you can see it trend nationwide on Twitter.
The fans have a point. Rosa Salazar did an incredible job as Alita, and we can always use more great, female-centric action movies. So while it's impossible to say whether or not Disney will listen to fans' demands, if they do choose to continue the franchise, there certainly seems to be a market of ready and willing consumers.