With Robert Rodriguez's Alita: Battle Angel edging its way closer to its February 2019 release, it's now official that composer Antonius Tom Holkenborg (better known by his stage name Junkie XL) will be working on the film's soundtrack. His most notable recent work includes other major blockbusters like Mad Max: Fury Road, Deadpool, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Based on the manga series from Yukito Kishiro, Alita: Battle Angel is a sci-fi adventure following the titular character Alita (Rosa Salazar) as she sets herself on a journey to discover who she is, where she came from, and what her role is in saving the world. The film was adapted by James Cameron (Avatar) and Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island), features state-of-the-art photorealistic CGI, and also stars Jennifer Connelly, Michelle Rodriguez, Mahershala Ali, and Christoph Waltz. Now, Junkie XL has been added to the film's packed roster to compose the score.
Holkenborg confirmed on his official Twitter account that he will be scoring Alita: Battle Angel. Having worked on the score for the adaptation of Mortal Engines, as well as the recent adaptation of Tomb Raider, Holkenborg tweeted out a poster for Alita: Battle Angel, revealing his excitement about working with Rodriguez and Cameron, who he refers to as two of his "cinematic heroes" in the post's thread. He then goes on to call the movie a "visionary project," and that both Rodriguez and Cameron pushed the envelope, encouraging him to do the same with his score.
Friends, I'm excited to officially announce that I am finishing up the original score to the upcoming adventure film Alita: Battle Angel - directed by Robert Rodriguez and produced by James Cameron. pic.twitter.com/iTquC1KkJP— Tom Holkenborg (@Junkie_XL) November 5, 2018
With a strong background in composing scores for video games - one of his earliest being Forza Motorsport in 2005 - Holkenborg broke out as a film composer when he worked on three major movies in 2014: 300: Rise of an Empire, Divergent, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (though he was credited as The Magnificent Six on the latter). His work on Mad Max: Fury Road and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice are perhaps the scores he's most recognized for, and he has since been rumored to be composing the score for the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog movie.
Junkie XL's core sound is undeniably aggressive, but that's not to say it's completely unhinged. His scores successfully embody the epic, and oftentimes chaotic, nature of their respective films, and yet he's still managed to craft a singular identity for each of his compositions. This is especially evident when placing scores like Mad Max: Fury Road and The Dark Tower side by side, and - given that Rodriguez and Cameron encouraged him to go beyond what might be expected for Alita: Battle Angel - audiences are certainly in for a unique treat come the movie's winter release.
Source: Tom Holkenborg
- Alita Battle Angel (2019) release date: Feb 14, 2019
- Sonic the Hedgehog (2019) release date: Nov 15, 2019
- Mortal Engines (2018) release date: Dec 14, 2018
- Avatar 2 (2020) release date: Dec 18, 2020
- Avatar 3 (2021) release date: Dec 17, 2021
- Avatar 4 (2024) release date: Dec 20, 2024
- Avatar 5 (2025) release date: Dec 19, 2025