Fox is hosting a San Diego Comic-Con 2018 panel for Alita: Battle Angel, but with a twist: attendees have to participate in a scavenger hunt to win tickets to the event. The sneak peek won't take place in Hall H either, unlike most of the big movie panels at SDCC, and will instead be held in the Regal Theater Horton Plaza on Friday, July 20. Writer/director Robert Rodriguez will be heading to San Diego for the event, along with the film's stars Rosa Salazar and Keean Johnson (who play Alita and Hugo, respectively).
Produced by James Cameron and Jon Landau, Alita: Battle Angel had spent years in early development, with Cameron planning to eventually direct the sci-fi anime/manga adaptation. The filmmaker then handed the project off to Rodriguez in 2015 due to his commitment to the Avatar sequels and production began on the film about a year later, with Salazar and Johnson leading a cast that includes Michelle Rodriguez, Christoph Waltz, Mahershala Ali, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Skrein, and X-Men: Apocalypse's Lana Condor, among others. Fox is now using SDCC as a chance to further drum up interest for the project.
According to THR, Fox is hosting a scavenger hunt called Alita: Battle Angel - Pillars of Iron City Search at SDCC. Attendees can win tickets to the Alita film panel by obtaining a passport at the Loot Crate booth and collecting six Alita-Themed stickers. Landau had the following to offer THR, with regard to the logic behind this interactive approach:
“It’s doing something different and unique. It’s about getting out there and involving a small group of people who are engaged. There is nothing wrong with [Hall H], but this felt like the right approach for this."
The Alita: Battle Angel SDCC panel will take place at 7:30 pm on July 20 and include previously-unreleased footage from the film, as well as a Q&A with Rodriguez and his cast. Further, that means the sneak peak will take place after the final Hall H movie panel for the day (Sony's dual presentation for Venom and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse). While there's only a fifteen minute break between the events, it will nevertheless be technically possible for SDCC attendees to attend the last major film panel in Hall H on Friday, before they race out to get an early look at Rodriguez's new offering thereafter.
In some ways, Alita stands to benefit from a good showing at SDCC more than any other studio film. The Alita teaser trailer earned an overall middling to lukewarm reception and prompted much discussion about Salazar's photo-realistic anime eyes in the film being off-putting, more than anything else. Moreover, Alita is now set to open on the same day as four other wide releases in December, including Aquaman and Bumblebee (both of which will be hosting Hall H panels at SDCC). For these reasons, SDCC will give Fox a chance to start generating some needed positive buzz and excitement around its big screen Alita: Battle Angel.
- Alita Battle Angel (2019) release date: Feb 14, 2019