James Cameron’s Battle Angel adaptation has found its lead in Maze Runner standout Rosa Salazar.
According to Collider, Salazar has been officially confirmed as the lead in Alita: Battle Angel, beating out Maika Monroe and Zendaya for the titular role. The manga adaptation was developed by James Cameron, and will be directed by Robert Rodriguez.
Battle Angel Alita is a manga series by Yukito Kishiro, which takes place in the 26th century and follows a cyborg girl with amnesia. Designed with spectacular martial arts skills, Battle Angel becomes a bounty hunter, who makes a living tracking down violent criminals.
As Brenda in Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and Lynn in Insurgent, Rosa Salazar is already well-known in dystopian YA circles. She’s also had recurring roles in Parenthood and American Horror Story, and you can currently catch her in FXX’s Man Seeking Woman.
James Cameron has been tinkering with this project for a while, but his extensive and all-consuming work on the Avatar sequels led him to hand over directorial duties to Robert Rodriguez last year. Rodriguez previously served as showrunner on From Dusk Till Dawn (after directing the movie of the same name in 1996), and his versatile directorial resumé includes Sin City, Spy Kids and The Faculty.
When Cameron picked Rodriguez as Battle Angel director, he said in a statement, “Robert and I have been looking for a film to do together for years, so I was pumped when he said he wanted to do Battle Angel. He’s very collaborative and we’re already like two kids building a go-kart, just having fun riffing creatively and technically.
“This project is near and dear to me, and there’s nobody I trust more than Robert, with his technical virtuosity and rebel style, to take over the directing reins. We’re looking forward to learning a lot from each other while we make a kick-ass epic.”
Alita: Battle Angel has no release date yet, but we’ll keep you posted. Here’s the official synopsis from IMDb:
“Alita is a creation from an age of despair. Found by the mysterious Dr. Ido while trolling for cyborg parts, Alita becomes a lethal, dangerous being. She cannot remember who she is, or where she came from. But to Dr. Ido, the truth is all too clear. She is the one being who can break the cycle of death and destruction left behind from Tiphares. But to accomplish her true purpose, she must fight and kill. And that is where Alita’s true significance comes to bear. She is an angel from heaven. She is an angel of death.”