The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that the live-action film adaptation planned for Yukito Kishiro’s Battle Angel Alita manga has narrowed down its leads to three possible actors. Maiki Monroe of It Follows and Independence Day: Resurgence, Rosa Salazar of Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and Zendaya of Spider-Man: Homecoming are all being tested for taking on the role of Alita, and the final decision is expected to be made within the coming weeks.
As in the Battle Angel manga and OVA, the movie’s premise details a scientist stumbling upon a female cyborg in a trash yard. Awakened, but with no memory of her previous life except for her martial arts skills, she becomes a bounty hunter. The action-adventure story itself is set against the themes of love and self-discovery long since well-trodden in manga and anime.
While James Cameron and John Landau are producing, with Robert Rodriguez of Sin City tapped to direct, Shutter Island‘s Laeta Kalogridis has written a script. The film is yet to be green-lit, as 20th Century Fox is negotiating its budget down from the $175-200 million mark, but Cameron’s Avatar sequels still take precedence, so he won’t be working on Alita at least until he’s finished directing them.
As for the ongoing manga, the latest series, GUNNM: Kasei Senki (Battle Angel Alita: The Martian War Chronicles), launched in Kodansha’s Evening magazine last year, having moved from Shueisha’s Ultra Jump after a dialogue dispute between Kishiro and the publication.