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James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez have found their Angel.
Rosa Salazar has nabbed the lead in the adaptation of the popular Japanese manga Battle Angel Alita. She will star as the amnesiac female cyborg who is rescued from a scrapyard and put back together without a memory of her past life but, awesomely, with an advanced knowledge of martial arts. Set in the 26th century, the story sees Alita become a bounty hunter, tracking down criminals.
The Fox film, titled Alita: Battle Angel, originally was going to be directed by Cameron, but due to his prodigious Avatar shooting schedule, directorial duties were handed off to the genre filmmaker Rodriguez. Cameron will stay on the project as a producer.
Last month, THR reported that Cameron and Rodriguez were narrowing down their casting list, with It Follows breakout star Maika Monroe, Bella Thorne and Salazar all testing for the part. Disney Channel star Zendaya was also in the mix early on but had scheduling conflicts.
The production, which has yet to select a start date, will have a budget in the $175 million-$200 million range.
Battle Angel is a major coup for the rising Salazar, who is also no stranger to action adventures. The actress, repped by Paradigm and Nelson Davis, worked on shorts and appeared on television before appearing in the YA Divergent franchise film Insurgent. Her highest-profile gig so far has been a key role opposite Dylan O’Brien in the Maze Runner film The Scorch Trials. She also is set to appear in Dax Shepard’s adaptation of the ‘70s TV show CHiPs.
Salazar’s get first was reported by Collider.
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