"Alita: Battle Angel" (2019) - Issue #68 / Working w/Producer David Valdes

Updated: Nov 9, 2020

*PLUS EXCLUSIVE STORY - Working w/Producer; David Valdes ("Alita: Battle Angel", "The Green Mile", "Unforgiven", "The Book of Eli")

“Alita: Battle Angel“ (2019)

Director: Robert Rodriguez

Writer: Yukito Kishiro (graphic novel "Gunnm"), James Cameron (screenplay), Laeta Kalogridis (screenplay)

Starring: Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Keean Johnson, Ed Skrein, Jackie Earle Haley, Eiza González

Rated: PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language

Runtime: 2h 2min

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Country: USA | Japan | Canada

Language: English | Spanish

A deactivated cyborg's revived, but can't remember anything of her past and goes on a quest to find out who she is.

You might like this if you like: "Gunnm" / "Battle Angel Alita" manga by Yukito Kishiro, Robert Rodriguez, James Cameron, Anime, Manga, Action Movies, Science Fiction, Female Action Films, Steampunk, Robots, A.I., Cyborgs, Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Keean Johnson, Ed Skrein, Jackie Earle Haley, Eiza González

Rosa Salazar in "Alita: Battle Angel" (2019)



When I first heard about “Alita: Battle Angel” (2019), I had just finished production on a film with writer/director Ryan A. Nichols called “Loved Ones” (soon to be released hopefully). So around late 2016 my father, Theodore Gall, who’s a sculptor, had been commissioned by a new client of his to make a sculpture for him because he had seen some of his work in a gallery and wanted his own. My dad mentioned to me that he was coming by the studio to visit and that I should meet him because he was also a film producer so we might get along. His name was David Valdes and he wanted my dad to make him sculpture paying homage to his multiple Oscar winning produced film; “Unforgiven” (1992).

Wax design by Theodore Gall for David Valdes' "Unforgiven" (1992) Sculpture

I brought my good friend, Ryan A. Nichols, over to my dad’s studio to meet David Valdes and his lady, Linda. My dad’s sculpture was going to be a part of his new series that featured a technology new to his work; a miniature screen inside the sculpture that plays a video whenever you open it. In this case; David wanted a short video that would essentially sum up “Unforgiven” (1992) in just a couple minutes in length. After the sculpture was finished, Ryan A. Nichols cut a terrific trailer-like video which ended up inside the piece.

Finished Bronze Piece by Theodore Gall for David Valdes' "Unforgiven" (1992) Sculpture

Finished Bronze Piece (opens to reveal screen inside) by Theodore Gall for David Valdes' "Unforgiven" (1992) Sculpture

Here is the final video you can checkout here that Ryan A. Nichols cut for my dad/sculptor, Theodore Gall & producer David Valdes:

But while we were at my dad’s studio with David Valdes and his wife, Ryan and I couldn’t help but talk movies for a bit. He was excited to get to tell old stories about “Unforgiven” (1992), one he mentioned was about how difficult it was to power the western town set which they built from scratch, dealing with rain, mud and all these behind the scene trials.

David Valdes (left photo), David Valdes left & Ray Liotta right (right photo) on the set of "Turbulence" (1997)

He went on to tell us about an upcoming film of his that was based on a Japanese manga that was going to be co-produced by him and James Cameron with Robert Rodriguez directing. Literally sounded like a dream project to me. Ryan pointed out to him how much I loved anime/manga but I had actually never heard of “Battle Angel Alita”, which was the manga's name. David looked overjoyed. He also mentioned how busy James Cameron was on the new 'Avatar' films at the time. Keep in mind this was late 2016. He told us about some of the new technology they were using and that some of it was being used for “Alita: Battle Angel” (2019). David is now currently producing James Cameron’s 'Avatar' sequel.

"Battle Angel Alita" aka "Gunnm" Volume 1 by Yukito Kishiro

We were stoked and after that we got to tell him about our film “Loved Ones” which we had just finished production on and had a teaser Ryan A. Nichols cut, which David was kind enough to let us send to him for notes. After that, Ryan went off to cut the “Unforgiven” (1992) video for David Valdes’ sculpture.

Here is the official teaser for an upcoming film called “Loved Ones” that I produced/executive produced with writer/director/editor Ryan A. Nichols. Starring Brit Landa, Ruben Guevara, Christopher Mychael Watson and Malcolm Matthews. Cinematography by Simon Balderas. We've already won some awards at festivals, but are still looking for distribution platform in hopes to bring the film to audiences soon:

Here are some of the very kind words and advice that David Valdes (producer of “Green Mile”, “Unforgiven”, “In the Line of Fire”, pending title “Avatar 2” and of course “Alita: Battle Angel”) gave to Ryan and I in response to sending him the teaser for “Loved Ones”:

Hi Sam:

Sorry for the tardy response; here are my thoughts.

First and foremost – congratulations!  The film looks VERY professional and the production values are nothing short of GREAT.  I especially like the cinematography.  VERY, VERY NICE!

Let me just preface my other thoughts by quoting Oscar winner and one of the most talented screenwriters in the business, Bill Goldman, when he said (either at the Oscars during his acceptance speech or in his book) – “Nobody knows nothing” in the movie business.  Mega-budget “tent-pole” movies can fail and inexpensive, long-shot indies can win Oscars and box office awards.  It’s a wonderful collision of story, character, direction, acting and timeliness to a universal consciousness that creates a “wanna-see” movie.  It’s a complete mystery that keeps us filmmakers addicted to playing the game because when we get it right, it’s the best high in the world.

So I suggest that you and your partner rely on your own instincts, your own internal compasses when it comes to YOUR film.  Everybody else’s comments can be evaluated and appreciated BUT if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.  And, as with everything – practice, practice, practice!  The more you do it, the better your films will be.

Also, see what others are doing.  Not just in North America but abroad.  In Europe, Asia, South America, etc.  Just because Americans have enjoyed a “lock” on the film industry for ages, doesn’t mean this trend will continue.  There are incredibly exciting filmmakers coming from everywhere these days that are telling stories in new and innovative ways.

Good luck on the journey!

Best wishes always,


- David Valdes

Not giving out the full conversation, but David went on to be very helpful to Ryan and I’s film/trailer.

We invited him to a private premiere for friends and family in October of 2018 but sadly he couldn’t make it. Once again he had some very kind words but he was working on “Alita: Battle Angel” (2019) at the time and couldn’t make it:

Congratulations Sam!

Unfortunately, I’m buried on a new project and will NOT be able to attend.  As we start principal performance capture next Monday, my calendar is full until next summer.

Wishing you all the best for a great screening on the 20th!

Best always,


- David Valdes

A week after “Alita: Battle Angel” premiered on Feb 14, 2019, I sent him an email congratulating him on the film.

Hi David,

It’s Sam Gall, Ted Gall’s son. Hope you are doing well! Just wanted to reach out and tell you how much I loved 'Alita: Battle Angel'! Congratulations! Such a great story and wonderfully executed. Magnificent visuals. Truly impressed. So great to see the manga come to life on the big screen and you guys did a great job! So thank you for the awesome 2 hours you gave to me and my friends. Favorite film of the year! Hope to see a sequel! 

All the best,


So that was essentially my early, early review of “Alita: Battle Angel” (2019) and how I got to meet producer David Valdes and work on a project with him, my dad Ted Gall, and editor of the project; Ryan A. Nichols. Appreciate the IMMENSE kindness David gave, fascinating stories he told and an exclusive little peak into “Alita: Battle Angel” (2019) before they even cast anyone. It was a true gift to be a part of and a memory I cherish greatly. I think even without having met David Valdes, “Alita: Battle Angel” (2019) still would’ve been my favorite film of the year. I was sad to see it didn’t do well at the box office but still found plenty of people who loved that movie like I did. I’ll never forget how many cheers the movie got in the theater. It was definitely a fun time at the movies.

So here are in 2020, I’m writing reviews for movies I love and I hear about a re-release for “Alita: Battle Angel” (2019) in theaters which only gave me a spark of hope again that maybe we could get a sequel and show the studios this is a story worth continuing. Being a huge supporter of #ReleaseTheSnyderCut and #ReleaseTheAyerCut I was surprised I didn’t find out about #AlitaArmy until now. I was so happy to find other people who were fighting for a sequel.





***** (STOP SCROLLING FOR: "Alita: Battle Angel" (2019) - Gem Mint 10.0 Review)





Here’s my 2020 Gem Mint 10.0 review of “Alita: Battle Angel” (2019) dedicated to David Valdes, Robert Rodriguez, James Cameron, rest of the cast & crew and the #AlitaArmy community/movement:

Rosa Salazar in "Alita: Battle Angel" (2019)

After producer David Valdes told me about the manga “Battle Angel Alita” I immediately went out in anticipation for Valdes adaptation. My first thought was how the hell are you going to adapt this? This is crazy! Crazy good though! I loved it but my little brain couldn’t even begin to imagine what they could do with this in live action. Valdes mentioned to me they were using James Cameron’s (also a producer on ‘Alita’) ‘Avatar’ sequel’s technology which was pretty exciting to me. But it still didn’t necessarily create an exact image for me.

I was so excited by the fact that Robert Rodriguez was getting to direct a James Cameron produced, big budget, Hollywood, mainstream epic. And a Japanese manga adaptation!? I couldn’t wait. It gave me hope. I’d been a long time fan of Rodriguez’s, his films, his music and his book, of course, “Rebel Without A Crew”.

Robert Rodriguez (left), Keean Johnson (middle), & Rosa Salazar (right) on the set of "Alita: Battle Angel" (2019)

When the first trailer dropped I was blown away. Sold. Christoph Waltz? Come on. It looked gorgeous. The countdown to release began and I saw it with a group of friends in theaters on opening night. It was such a blast! Everything I hoped for and more. Everyone I saw it with including me, at least other 5 people, all agreed on two things; we loved it and would totally see a sequel. I mean, the minute the credits roll.. Clearly there’s more story to be told and we were down.

Rosa Salazar was a new face for me but my god she did such an outstanding job.. bringing so many emotions through that character with incredible movement and a captivating voice. Christoph Waltz was an absolute treat in this film! Rodriguez used him so well! Such a fun cast!

Christoph Waltz (left) & Rosa Salazar (right) in "Alita: Battle Angel" (2019)

The action and visual effects were some of the best I’d ever seen. Rodriguez was getting to play with the big toys that James Cameron gave him and he just elevated everything you could do with them. It truly has magnificently executed action sequences. Having used smaller tools all his life and using them in ways that made them look so much bigger... what do you expect when you give him bigger tools? Some of those flashback sequences are my favorite in the entire film.

Rosa Salazar in "Alita: Battle Angel" (2019)

One of the greatest female action characters. It’s a beautiful story that is perfect for this generation’s stories to come. One of the best casts, crews and worlds to have for a cinematic universe. I will continue to support this film in hopes we finally get a well-deserved sequel to one of my favorite films of all time. It truly is a gem. Find out more below how you can support the #AlitaArmy / for an “Alita: Battle Angel” (2019) sequel. And if there’s more that I can do, please let me know on the comments!

Many thanks again to David Valdes!

Written by Sam Gall on 10/03/20

CGC Grading: Gem Mint 10.0

David Valdes:


YouTube Video (Great filmmaking advice/interview for 'Point Break' 2015): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlTcL31nwlI

Theodore Gall (dad/sculptor):

Website: http://www.theodoregall.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tedgallsculpture/

Ryan A Nichols (editor of "Unforgiven" 1992 sculpture video):

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ryan.a.nichols/

#ALITAARMY (to support a sequel to "Alita: Battle Angel" (2019):

Website: https://alitaarmy.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AlitaArmy/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlitaArmy

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the_alita_army/


CINEMABLEND ARTICLE W/MORE INFO: https://www.cinemablend.com/news/2555940/sounds-like-alita-battle-angel-will-be-coming-back-to-select-theaters

"So, what happens when you put together the minds that brought films like Avatar and Sin City to the big screen and have them adapt a manga? You get one of the most visually stunning and narratively imaginative films in a long time." - Damond Fuge, KCCI (Des Moines, IA)

"Rosa Salazar is more than believable as the innocent, wide-eyed (literally and figuratively) cyborg who eventually discovers she is a fierce warrior." - Allison Rose, FlickDirect

"Yes, I am giving Alita: Battle Angel one of my stingy 10's out of a possible 10. Imaginative, true to the artists' concepts, and an all-out cinematic action blast." - Vincent Schilling, Indian Country Today

"Alita: Battle Angel is an action-packed ride that had me in tears. It's definitely one of my favorite live-action films based on the manga and anime, and Rosa Salazar as Alita brings a lot of heart to the film." - John Nguyen, Nerd Reactor

Official Trailer:

Awesome Behind The Scenes Look At "Alita: Battle Angel" (2019):

Available on HBO Max & various VOD platforms

#alitabattleangel #alita #battleangelalita #battleangel #gunnm #yokitokishiro #robertrodriguez #jamescameron #rosasalazar #christophwaltz #mahershalaali #jenniferconnelly #manga #anime #adaptation #ALITAARMY

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