Christoph Waltz still wants to make Alita: Battle Angel 2, but suspects it might not happen now that Disney owns the property. Thanks to their purchase of Fox (which was finalized last year), the Mouse House has gained control over lucrative sci-fi franchises like Alien, Predator, and Planet of the Apes, in addition to James Cameron's mega-tentpole Avatar. They also hold the rights to another sci-fi project from the Terminator filmmaker in the form of Alita: Battle Angel, a live-action adaptation of the cyberpunk manga/anime which Cameron developed for several years before handing it off to Robert Rodriguez to direct instead.

Released in February 2019 (about a month before Disney formally acquired Fox), Alita: Battle Angel stars Rosa Salazar as the titular hero, a cyborg who awakens in the 26th century with no memory of her past but is helped by the kindly scientist Dr. Dyson Ido (Waltz). Using the old rule of thumb that a movie needs to double its budget to make a profit, Alita was a modest hit but a success nonetheless, taking in $405 million at the box office on a $170 million budget. In spite of this, a sequel has yet to be announced and Waltz suspects it has more to do with the franchise's new owners than anything else.

Speaking with Collider to promote his new Quibi project, Most Dangerous Game, the Oscar-winner assured he'd "Of course!" return for Alita: Battle Angel 2, saying "I know that people liked it and aside from what others said, I loved it and I liked working on it and I liked the result." He also admitted he hasn't heard anything about a sequel happening and speculated it has to do with Disney buying Fox, before adding "Maybe it doesnít fit into the Disneyfication, but I have no clue. I have no clue."


It stands to reason Waltz is right about Disney being the biggest roadblock to Alita 2 at the moment. Following their acquisition, the studio cancelled a number of developing Fox movies (including their big-budget Mouse Guard adaptation) and has been hesitant to green-light anything new that isn't part of an extremely-profitable brand like Avatar. Alita, as mentioned, is right on the cusp; the original film performed well enough, but nowhere near the box office numbers Disney earns from its live-action remakes or IPs like the MCU and Star Wars, so the studio has only so much incentive to develop a followup. At the same time, the movie brought in decent reviews, with critics praising its stunning visuals and the way it combines Cameron's sci-fi interests with Rodriguez's themes about class. Moviegoers were similarly receptive and have been calling for a payoff to Alita's sequel tease ever since.

Case in point: back in February, fans got #AlitaSequel trending on Twitter in an effort to encourage Disney to green-light the project. Some of them went a step further and even paid to fly a banner promoting Alita: Battle Angel 2 over the 2020 Oscars ceremony a few days later. On top of all that, Salazar (like Waltz) is on the record saying she would love to return for the sequel, and producer Jon Landau has voiced his support for these fan campaigns by encouraging them to keep pestering Disney with requests to make it happen. Suffice it to say, there's an audience that wants more Alita; whether it's big enough to get the Mouse House's attention, that's another matter.