Luke Cage’s Mahershala Ali Joins Alita: Battle Angel

The Hollywood Reporter says that actor Mahershala Ali, who plays Luke Cage villain Cottonmouth, has landed one of the bad guy roles in the much-anticipated Alita: Battle Angel. Ali will play Vector, who runs and fixes matches for a gladiator-style game called Motorball that Alita (Rosa Salazar) must play.

He joins a cast that also includes two-time Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz as Doctor Dyson, Keann Johnson as Alita’s love interest Hugo, Oscar nominee Jackie Earl Haley in an undisclosed role, and Ed Skrein as the villain cyborg Zapan.

Set in the 26th century, Alita: Battle Angel tells the story of Alita, an amnesiac female cyborg who is rescued from a scrapyard by Dyson. The rebuilt Alita, remembering only her training in a deadly martial art, becomes a hunter-warrior, tracking down and eliminating vicious criminals. Within the context of an epic action-adventure, the film aims to explore a young woman’s journey of self-discovery and finding love.

James Cameron had been developing the big screen adaptation for more than a decade, but now that he’s is in pre-production on four Avatar sequels, he has his hands a little full and has turned the Alita reins over to Sin City director Robert Rodriguez.

Twentieth Century Fox production, Alita: Battle Angel will begin production in Austin next month. Cameron and Jon Landau will produce for Fox under their Lightstorm Entertainment banner.

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