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Robert Rodriguez is stepping out of his comfort zone with Alita: Battle Angel. The filmmaker, known for working in the mid-budget range on films like 2005’s Sin City and the Spy Kids franchise, is stepping decidedly into big-budget territory with the upcoming anime adaptation.

“I knew it’s going to be a challenge to do a much bigger movie. I usually don’t do movies beyond a certain budget,” he told The Hollywood Reporter this weekend at New York Comic Con, noting more moderate budgets have allowed him to have more creative freedom. “I thought if I can keep it under a certain budget, if I just make it look good, I’m going to cast who I want, do whatever I want. I like living there.”

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