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James Cameron's Alita: Battle Angel Casts Jackie Earle Haley

posted on by Egan Loo
The Hollywood Reporter: Watchmen actor to play "monstrous cyborg" villain

Entertainment news source The Hollywood Reporter revealed on Thursday that James Cameron's Alita: Battle Angel, the live-action film of Yukito Kishiro's Battle Angel Alita (GUNNM) manga has signed on actor Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen, A Nightmare on Elm Street remake, Preacher, The Dark Tower, The Birth of a Nation). According to The Hollywood Reporter, "it is believed Haley will play a monstrous cyborg in a villain role that will call for plenty of CG and greenscreen," and that the production crew aims to start filming this October in Austin.

Film news websites Collider and The Hollywood Reporter stated in May that the film has cast Rosa Salazar (Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, Man Seeking Woman) in the lead role. The Hollywood Reporter added last month that Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained, Spectre, The Legend of Tarzan) was in talks to play Doctor Dyson Ido, "the cybersurgeon who finds the cyborg [protagonist] and becomes her mentor." The site indicates now that Waltz is now signed onto the project.

Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Sin City, Spy Kids) is set to direct the film. James Cameron and his Lightstorm Entertainment partner Jon Landau are producing the project, and Shutter Island's Laeta Kalogridis penned a script. Fox has scheduled the film for a wide release on July 20, 2018.

The Hollywood Reporter described the film:

Set in the 26th century, Alita: Battle Angel tells of a female cyborg that is discovered in a trash yard by a scientist. With no memory of her previous life except her deadly martial arts training, the woman becomes a bounty hunter, tracking down criminals.

The action-adventure story is meant to serve as a backdrop to themes of self-discovery and the search for love.

Cameron reaffirmed in 2014 that he will not work on Battle Angel Alita until he has finished directing the sequels to his Avatar film, which are currently set to open in 2018, 2020, 2022, and 2023, respectively.

Kishiro's manga ran in Shueisha's Business Jump magazine from 1990 to 1995, followed by the 1995-1996 prequel Ashen Victor and the single-volume Gunnm: Other Stories. The story continued in 2001 with the partial retelling Battle Angel Alita: Last Order, which moved to Kodansha's Evening magazine as the result of an issue between Kishiro and Shueisha's Ultra Jump magazine. The newest manga, Gunnm: Kasei Senki (Battle Angel Alita: The Martian War Chronicles), launched in Kodansha's Evening magazine in 2014.


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