Over the next few years, the big blockbuster trend looks to be adapting hit anime and manga series into live-action movies. While some, like 2015's Attack on Titan and the upcoming Fullmetal Alchemist will be Japanese productions, an increasing number of them are being made as American remakes. Attack on Titan will actually be one of them, as will next month's Ghost in the Shell. From there, popular series like Naruto and Death Note will receive a similar treatment.
One adaptation with some big names attached is Alita: Battle Angel. Based on the manga Battle Angel Alita, the movie will be directed by Robert Rodriguez and produced by James Cameron. Telling the story of an abandoned cyborg who learns to become a warrior and bounty hunter, Alita will be played by Rose Salazar, with Christoph Waltz possibly playing Dr. Dyson Ido, the man who saves her from near death. For some time, it's been teased that Luke Cage and Moonlight star Mahershala Ali is playing a villain in the film, and now it appears his part in Battle Angel will be even more complicated than expected.
While backstage at the Oscars, Ali was asked about his part in Alita: Battle Angel, which Movie Pilot were able to uncover:
"I’m really excited about that. I actually play two parts in that film. That was a blast. I literally wrapped that maybe two weeks ago."
The dual role adds a layer of intrigue, and will certainly give the actor an opportunity to flex his skills. Given that he's riding high from his Best Supporting Actor win at the Oscars last night for Moonlight, Ali's attachment to the project will help boost its profile. Not that it will necessarily need it. Aside from Ali and Waltz, Michelle Rodriguez recently joined the production along with Lana Condor. And Ali won't be the only villain(s) Alita faces, either.
Jennifer Connelly, Jackie Earl Haley, and Ed Skrein are all reportedly playing antagonists in Battle Angel too. Not only will these cast members bring further attention to the movie, but it looks like Alita will have quite a few bounties to turn in. It's also interesting to note that Ali has already wrapped his part. The report on Michelle Rodriguez's involvement said the film had wrapped, so this formally confirms it. For a movie with so many stars behind it, it's surprising we haven't seen any leaks, photos, or teasers for the film just yet. With a summer 2018 release date, however, we're sure to learn a lot more about Alita: Battle Angel in the foreseeable future.
Source: Movie Pilot