Deadpool's Ed Skrein joins Alita: Battle Angel

Ed Skrein

With Robert Rodriguez preparing to kick off filming shortly on Alita: Battle Angel, he's been busy building the cast. His latest hire? Deadpool's Ed Skrein.

Battle Angel Alita, as it was called in print and anime form, sprung from Yukito Kishiro's nine-volume manga (known as "Gun/Dream" in Japan): the story of an amnesiac female cyborg who becomes a bounty hunter, after being rescued from the rubbish dump and rebuilt by a professor of cybernetics. Rosa Salazar is on board to play Alita, while Christoph Waltz will be the professor.

Skrein is getting back into bad guy mode for the movie, playing a dangerous cyborg named Zapan, who wields a powerful weapon called the Damascus blade. And he's not the only threat, as Jackie Earle Haley will also be a villain in the film.

With James Cameron – who has been trying to get Alita into cinematic form for several years – producing, the cameras are set to start rolling next month.