20th Century Fox releases a high-adrenaline clip from the upcoming sci-fi epic action adventure movie “Alita: Battle Angel” where Alita, played by Rosa Salazar tries out for the dangerous motorball sport.
With an intro message from producer James Cameron, the Motorball clip features the one obsession that unites the people of Iron City in “Alita: Battle Angel”. Motorball is a gladiatorial sport whose champions are the heroes of an otherwise desperate city. The game takes place on rocket-propelled wheels, as hulking cyborgs fitted with chains, spikes, blades and armor race at 100-mph through the hairpin turns of a trap-filled track designed to damage cyborg parts. Those who win at Motorball not only attain rock star status in Iron City but a chance to ascend to Zalem forever. Producer Jon Landau describes Motorball as “NASCAR meets WWF meets MMA on steroids.”
Everyone in Iron City watches Motorball. Kids play street Motorball, which is how Alita is first introduced to the sport. Later, with her Berserker body, Alita tries out for the 2nd League – the “minors” of Iron City Motorball. “It’s all new to Alita but she eventually becomes the LeBron James of Motorball,” says Salazar. “I really like that, because the cyborg guys are like, ‘look at all my bells and whistles.’ And she takes them all down.”
Art director Todd Holland became the in-house expert on the fictional sport, expanding from the Manga’s inspiration to come up with scoring and rules. “Motorball is not about shooting into an end goal or a hoop—it’s about possession,” Holland explains. “The longer you’re in possession of the ball, the more points you score. There are seven person teams, but there is also a more cutthroat version which is everybody pitted against each other, which is what Alita experiences in her tryouts.”
What Alita believes will just be a low-key audition turns into an all-out, life-or-death chase. Rodriguez had the whole team watch race car movies to inspire the scene’s whiplash camerawork but once things fly off the track, there were no precursors for this kind of action. “The Motorball chase is one of my favorites,” says director Robert Rodriguez. “The action’s already blistering when Motorball is just a game, but things quickly turn from a game to a hunt sequence as the cyborgs try to annihilate Alita.”
“Alita: Battle Angel” opens February 6 in cinemas nationwide from 20th Century Fox. The movie will be available in 2D, 3D and 3D IMAX screens.