She made a huge impression playing the title role in Alita: Battle Angel but where else may you recognize rising star Rosa Salazar? Alita: Battle Angel was a long cherished pet project for director James Cameron, who was introduced to the manga by friend Guillermo del Toro. He first resolved to adapt the source material into a film back in 2000, writing a 186-page script and copious notes. In the end, he decided to make Avatar first and come back to Alita.
Following Avatar's groundbreaking success in 2009, Cameron decided to focus on developing sequels instead, and it appeared Alita: Battle Angel would never happen. Thankfully. Robert Rodriguez (From Dusk Till Dawn) inquired about its status, and the duo decided to develop Alita together with Rodriguez directing and Cameron producing. Maika Monroe (It Follows) and Zendaya were finalists for the titular character but Rosa Salazar was ultimately cast.
While live-action anime adaptations tend to be disappointing, such as 2017's Ghost In The Shell, Alita: Battle Angel received mostly positive reviews for its surprisingly emotional story and great special effects. Most of the praise for the movie was reserved for Rosa Salazar's performance, who was able to portray Alita's literal wide-eyed innocence while being able to convincingly handle the action sequences too. Salazar began her career with a number of short films and CollegeHumor sketches, before landing parts in shows like American Horror Story: Murder House and Parenthood.
Rosa Salazar quickly moved from movies like comedy Search Party, starring Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley), to YA adaptations The Divergent Series: Insurgent and Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials. She also voiced DC villain Copperhead in 2013 video game prequel Batman: Arkham Origins. During this period Salazar was regularly moving between movies and TV shows, including a recurring part on FXX comedy Man Seeking Woman.
In 2017 she appeared in a big screen adaptation of TV show CHiPs, featuring Michael Pena and Kristen Bell (The Good Place), before moving on to a voice-over role on Nick Kroll animated sitcom Big Mouth. 2018 would prove to be a big year for Rosa Salazar, where she appeared in Netflix smash hit Bird Box alongside Sandra Bullock, The Kindergarten Teacher with Maggie Gyllenhaal, and she returned for Maze Runner: The Death Cure, the final entry in the franchise.
There's still no confirmation of an Alita: Battle Angel sequel, but Rosa Salazar will next be seen in upcoming movie comedies The Bang Bang Girls and Pink Skies Ahead.