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Oscar Winner Mahershala Ali Has 2 Roles in Alita: Battle Angel

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Moonlight star previously reported to play villain Vector

The Movie Pilot website reported on Monday that Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, Hidden Figures) will have two roles in Alita: Battle Angel, James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez's live-action film of Yukito Kishiro's Battle Angel Alita (GUNNM) manga. Ali reportedly revealed that he will have two roles in the film while speaking to the press after winning the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his role in Moonlight on Sunday.

In response to a question about his upcoming projects, Ali said, "I'm really excited about [Alita: Battle Angel]. I actually play two parts in that film. That was a blast. I literally wrapped that maybe two weeks ago." Ali did not name the roles or provide further details. Entertainment Weekly revealed on Friday that filming had wrapped up. The film began shooting in Austin in October.

The Hollywood Reporter had revealed in October that the actor "will play one of the movie's villains, a man named Vector who runs and fixes matches in a gladiator-style combat game called Motorball."

The film will star Rosa Salazar (Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, Man Seeking Woman) in the lead role. Other reported cast members include:

  • Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained, Spectre, The Legend of Tarzan) as Doctor Dyson Ido, "the cybersurgeon who finds the cyborg [protagonist] and becomes her mentor."
  • Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen, A Nightmare on Elm Street remake, Preacher, The Dark Tower, The Birth of a Nation) as "a monstrous cyborg in a villain role that will call for plenty of CG and greenscreen."
  • Ed Skrein (The Transporter Refueled, Deadpool) as Zapan, "a villainous cyborg who is in possession of a weapon called the Damascus blade."
  • Keean Johnson (Nashville, Spooksville) as Hugo, the "love interest" and "a young man who teaches Alita how to play a gladiator-style game called Motorball but who also has a secret side job stealing robot parts."
  • Eiza Gonzales (From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series)
  • Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Spider-Man: Homecoming,The Land) as the "cunning and sly friend" of Keean Johnson's character.
  • Lana Condor (X-Men: Apocalypse) as Koyomi, an orphaned teenage photographer in the manga.
  • Leonard Wu (Marco Polo) as Kinuba, a cyborg character in the manga.
  • Marko Zaror (Machete Kills) as Ajakutty, a Motorball player who also appears in the original manga.
  • Jennifer Connelly (American Pastoral, Hulk, Dark Water) as one of the film's villains.
  • Michelle Rodriguez (Fast and the Furious) as Gelda.

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.

Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Sin City, Spy Kids) is directing 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 film will get an IMAX release.

Image courtesy of Ben Gabbe/Getty Images


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