Alita: Battle Angel has been one of James Cameron‘s long-gestating projects. The adaptation has taken somewhat of a backseat with Cameron focusing on his Avatar sequels. Despite the filmmaker declaring that the film would have to be pried out of his cold dead hands, it has been given to Robert Rodriguez – much to Cameron’s approval.
With Rodriguez in the driver’s seat, the film can proceed that much closer to production, and it seems as they are close to finding an actress to play the lead role. According to new reports, Maika Monroe, Zendaya, Rosa Salazar, and Bella Thorne are the new frontrunners for the title role. More on the story below.
The Hollywood Reporter was the first to report on the news of the relative newcomers vying for the role. Monroe is best known for her roles in It Follows, The Guest, The 5th Wave, and the upcoming Independence Day: Resurgence. Zendaya is known for her roles in Disney Channel’s K.C. Undercover, Shake It Up, and can next be seen in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Bella Throne, also of Shake It Up fame, can next be heard voicing Cora in Ratchet and Clank, the film adaptation of the video game of the same name. Salazar has appeared in The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials and The Divergent Series: Insurgent.
Again, these are relative newcomers, but each of them will appear or has appeared in a film with a popular fanbase. According to the report, Zendaya could be the frontrunner for the role, but that scheduling issues with K.C. Undercover may present a problem as it may affect Cameron and Rodriguez’s casting decision. Sources say that they want to create a star-making vehicle akin to Cameron’s Dark Angel, the TV series that helped established Jessica Alba’s name.
Based on the popular manga series of the same name created by Yukito Kishiro, Alita: Battle Angel centers on the titular female cyborg that is discovered in a scrapyard 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 story traces Alita’s attempts to rediscover her past and the characters whose lives she impacts on her journey.
While a casting is expected to be made within the next few weeks, the film has yet to be officially greenlit as budgetary issues are still being worked out while the studio seeks to bring it down from the $175 million-$200 million range.
[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]