Alita: Battle Angel is currently set for a July 20, 2018, release date.
THR is reporting that actress Jennifer Connelly has joined the cast of James Cameron (producer) and Robert Rodriguez’s (director) adaptation of Alita: Battle Angel. She’s reportedly playing a villainous role in the movie, though details regarding her role haven’t been shared yet. She’s joining an already loaded cast, including a number of notable actors set as villains.
Surprisingly, Christoph Waltz is actually on Alita’s side, as her mentor, but Connelly is joining Jackie Earle Haley, Ed Skrein, and Mahershala Ali on the villain’s side. With the movie reportedly having been shooting since October last year, this late addition to the cast is interesting. With the movie set on a July 20, 2018, release date, we’ll likely be getting a trailer for the movie, at the very least, before the end of the year.
UPDATE 9-14-16: Jackie Earle Haley Signs on to Alita: Battle Angel
Christoph Waltz recently joined Alita: Battle Angel as “the cybersurgeon who finds the cyborg and becomes her mentor,” and now THR is reporting that Jackie Earle Haley is set to join the cast as well. Haley’s role hasn’t been confirmed yet, but “it is believed Haley will play a monstrous cyborg in a villain role that will call for plenty of CG and greenscreen.” Haley’s a great actor, so I’m definitely looking forward to him taking on a villainous role.
Also, the movie is now reportedly set to start production in October.
UPDATE 5-26-16: Rosa Salazar Scores the Lead Role in Alita: Battle Angel
Roughly a month after it was revealed that four actresses were in contention for the lead role, Collider is reporting that Rosa Salazar has won the role. Salazar is definitely a strong choice, and with the lead cast and the director in place, we’re hopefully going to see a lot of forward movement on the movie now.
Original Post 4-28-16: Who Is James Cameron Casting For the Lead In Alita: Battle Angel?
For those unfamiliar with Robert Rodriguez and James Cameron’s upcoming Alita: Battle Angel (based on a popular Japanese manga and adapted into a two-part animated movie), here’s a quick refresher. Alita is a cyborg living in the post-apocalyptic future. She has lost all of her memories but one and is found in the scrapyard by a cybernetics doctor who rebuilds her. The one thing Alita does remember is the legendary lethal cyborg martial art Panzer Kunst. And aided by this lethal knowledge, she becomes Battle Angel Alita, a bounty hunter. Her story is that of self-discovery and finding the answers to the questions she has about her past.
James Cameron has been interested in making a Battle Angel Alita film for years, acquiring the rights well before he started work on Avatar. However, he kept pushing the project to the back burner, saying that he wanted technology to be a point he could do the story justice. And then after deciding he wanted to do a sequel (or two) for Avatar, he finally realized he should probably bring in some help if the Alita project was ever going to take wing. So in October 2015, he brought Robert Rodriguez onboard to direct the project, from a script by Cameron and screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis. Regarding the adaptation, Cameron said, “What I’m going to do is take the spine story and use elements from the first four books. So, the Motorball from books three and four, and parts of the story of one and two will all be in the movie.”
And now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, four actresses have screen-tested and are competing for the role of Alita. They are: Maika Monroe (Independence Day: Resurgence, The 5th Wave), Zendaya (Spider-Man: Homecoming), Bella Thorne (Amityville: The Awakening), and Rosa Salazar (Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, Insurgent).
What do you think about these choices? Do you think any of them will be a good option for the role of Alita in the upcoming Alita: Battle Angel?
Also, as an interesting note, one thing currently stalling the movie is budget talks. 20th Century Fox, the distributor for the movie, wants Cameron to bring the budget down from the current $175 – $200 million range. Really? That’s a deal for a James Cameron movie, and given that his last two movies made over a combined $4 billion worldwide, just bite the bullet and roll the dice. This is about as close as they’ll ever come to having loaded dice.