Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Fan Campaign For Battle Angel Sequel Is Taking Off

Fans of Alita: Battle Angel are following the advice of one of the flick's producers — they're getting loud.

The movie has a fervent fan base despite not being a roaring box office success, and those fans have taken to Twitter in massive numbers with a simple message for Disney: make us a sequel, please. (via Bloody Disgusting)

Allow us to rewind just a bit. Alita, an adaptation of an iconic manga, languished in Development Hell for nearly 20 years before finally hitting screens in early 2019. The James Cameron-produced, Robert Rodriguez-directed flick divided critics, who generally slammed its screenplay while praising its action, visuals, and acting, particularly that of lead actress Rosa Salazar. Fans who had waited forever for the picture turned out, and they were generally pleased: Alita raked in $405 million dollars at the global box office, which isn't exactly peanuts.

However, the movie — one of the last major releases to be fielded by Fox Studios before its acquisition by Disney in March 2019 — cost $170 million dollars to produce, and with its advertising and promotional budget figured in, it was seen as having underperformed. The ending of the flick teased a sequel (because of course it did), one which its fans have been anxiously awaiting word on — only to be met with deafening silence by the House of Mouse, which now controls the property.

Earlier this week, we reported that a petition beseeching Mickey to remedy this situation had garnered roughly 120,000 signatures, a development which was not lost on Jon Landau, one of the film's producers. Speaking with CinemaBlend, he let fans know that the only way a sequel to Alita is ever going to happen is if they keep on doing exactly what they're doing: asking for it. "What I think the Alita Army should do is keep peppering our family, now at Disney and [let them know] how important it is to have another Alita movie," Landau said. "Hopefully we'll venture there one day."

Lo and behold, the Alita Army was listening. #AlitaSequel was trending on Twitter just a couple of days after Landau's remarks, with over 12,000 Twitter users hitting up Disney and Fox accounts using the hashtag. Landau has got to be sitting back and smiling to himself, and at this point, it may be safe to say that we won't have radio silence on the potential for a sequel to Alita for much longer.

Is there a chance that Alita: Battle Angel's fan campaign could be successful?

Of course, that doesn't mean that Mickey's response will be, "Yessiree, one Alita sequel coming right up!" At the end of the day, Disney is in business to make money — just, so much money — and despite the apparent dedication of Alita's fan base, there's still no reason to think that a sequel would outperform the original.

In fact, we can put a number to the instances in which loud, sustained fan demand resulted in a studio making a sequel to a movie that didn't make enough money, and that number is zero. On the other hand, we can think of plenty of times that fans clamored for a sequel to one of their favorite flicks for years and years, only to get jack-squat

The only times that fan campaigns have seen any reasonable amount of success is in the world of television, and even those have produced decidedly mixed results. Take the famous case of the post-apocalyptic CBS drama series Jericho, which was canceled after its debut season in 2006-2007; in response, fans bombarded the CBS offices with packages which collectively contained 20 freaking tons of nuts (a reference to a main character's dismissive response to a request to surrender in the season's final episode). 

The network acquiesced, ordering seven more episodes — but, in a statement, viewers were warned that Jericho's stay of execution may be temporary if it didn't pick up more viewers. We'll give you three guesses as to what happened next. You're right! It didn't gain any more viewers, and it was canceled again once those seven episodes aired. (You probably only needed one guess.)

Or, consider the more recent case of Netflix's totally weird-ass, frequently awesome Sense8, which had a fan base as vocal as it was undersized. When Netflix gave it the axe after just two seasons, that fan base positively exploded with indignation; after a month of relentlessly haranguing the streamer, they were finally given a gift in the form of a movie which would wrap up the story. It wasn't the eight or nine more seasons they wanted, but hey, at least it was something.

When it comes to harassing film studios into producing sequels to expensive, underperforming features, though, there is really no precedent for success of any kind. Sure, Disney has ridiculously deep pockets and its own red-hot streaming service, so we suppose there's always a chance that Alita's story could continue on the small screen. That, however, is probably the absolute best fans can hope for — no matter how loud they get.