James Cameron has said he launched into his latest project to offer his daughter an empowering film.
The director of Titanic and Avatar has overseen another feature using computer-generated imagery, Alita: Battle Angel, and wanted an inspiring story for young girls.
Cameron said he first acquired the rights with his daughter in mind when she was just seven years old, and his vision has taken decades to materialise on screen under director Robert Rodriguez.
Speaking at the London premiere of the Alita, Cameron said: “This is something for women. I made this movie because when I acquired the rights to it my daughter was seven.
“I wanted to make something that would give her something a sense of confidence and empowerment that she could invest in. She’s now 27 and she loves it. She ‘beep’ loves it.”
Cameron, who co-wrote the screenplay adapted from the original Japanese manga, distilled the story simply as: “We’re going to follow the journey of a young girl into womanhood, and she’s going to kick everyone’s ass – it’s that simple.”
He said the issues of the film may appeal to a teenage sensibility, but that it is something everyone can relate to no matter their age, and he has received “not even snark” for the film so far.
Cameron said: “We’ve all been teenagers. Our audience will all be teenagers now or will have been.
We’ve all been through it, that sense of I don’t know where I fit into the world, I can’t do what my parents tell me.
“It’s a human journey.”
The film stars Rosa Salazar in a motion capture role as the eponymous Alita, a cyborg who does battle with machines.
Director Rodriguez said that the means to make the film were not available until recently, with developments in cinematic technology.
He said: “The tech had to just be invented for this movie. How to make a photo-real person was beyond anyone’s comprehension even three years ago. We had to figure that out. I was geeking out over the technology the whole time.”
On the influence of motion-capture pioneer Cameron, he added: “He told me to make it my own, but I personally wanted to make it more like a Jim Cameron movie.”