Alita: Battle Angel sets offer a "respite" from dark sci-fi dystopia, say production designers - architecture and design

Alita: Battle Angel sets offer a "respite" from dark sci-fi dystopia, say production designers



The post-apocalyptic architecture in sci-fi blockbuster Alita: Battle Angel is a diverse fusion of Panama's vibrant ruins and Hong Kong's Kowloon Walled City, say its creators.
Production designers Caylah Eddleblute and Steve Joyner told Dezeen that they looked to the "welcoming" nature of colourful Cuban and Latin American colonial architecture when creating the film set.
"We wanted to do something that was completely different and never seen before, so we looked to environments that were not typically used in these types of films," said Joyner.
The warm tones featured in Iron City reject the typically dark aesthetic of sci-fi films
Located in an unspecified region of equatorial South America, the fictional Iron City's sun-drenched scenery goes against the aesthetic typical of sci-fi films. This "gloomy and oppressive" style is epitomised by Ridley Scott's rain-slicked 1982 Blade Runner movie, which set the tone for the genre.
Designers "wanted to avoid recreating Blade Runner"
"We specifically wanted to avoid recreating Blade Runner," stated Joyner. "Science fiction has been imitated poorly so many times, as it's tough to pay homage to something that's so well done."
The designers deliberately looked elsewhere when creating the mood of the production design, specifically to the streets of Havana and Panama.
"A big part of the mandate early on was to not create Iron City to be dystopian in the way that many s...
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