Last month, three actors were announced as trying out for the lead in James Cameron’s planned live-action film of the Battle Angel Alita manga, and now the definitive casting has been reported by Collider. Rosa Salazar of Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and The Divergent Series: Insurgent has won out against Maika Monroe of It Follows, and Spider-Man: Homecoming‘s Zendaya to snap up the titular cyborg’s role.
As in Yukito Kishiro’s Battle Angel Alita manga and the following 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 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.