Avatar director, James Cameron, says that he loves Battle Angel Alita too much to hand the project to another director.
There's a lot of ways you might be familiar with Battle Angel Alita: There's the two part anime series, the videogame, and even the nine-volume comic that the character first appeared in. Eventually there will also be a live-action movie directed by James Cameron, although it looks like that might be years away from even getting started.
Battle Angel Alita is set in a 26th century dystopia, where most of the world's population lives in a wasteland, while a small elite live in an amazing city. The series tells the story of a female cyborg who is discovered on a junk pile by a cybernetic doctor.
The doctor repairs the physical damage, but he can't restore her lost memory. The doctor names her Alita, after his recently deceased cat, and adopts her as a daughter. Alita soon discovers that her amnesia doesn't extend to her knowledge of the punishing cyborg martial art, "Panzer Kunst." She harnesses her fighting skills, first to become a bounty hunter, and then a professional sportsperson.
Cameron said that he loved the Battle Angel story too much to turn his back on the project. He said that he would be rather busy for the next five years with the Avatar sequels, but was excited about making the movie. He described the Battle Angel world as "rich," and already had ideas on where the story would go. He planned to take the central story and then add story elements from the first two volumes of the comic. He also said that he wanted to include details like the brutal contact sport of Motorball from the third and fourth volumes.
The second Avatar movie is scheduled for release in 2014, with the sequel following a year later. Presumably, Cameron will start work on Battle Angel some time after that, which means the movie will likely hit theaters somewhere between 2018 and 2020.