Maika Monroe and more on the shortlist for Battle Angel

Maika Monroe

by James White |
Published on
Maika Monroe

After more than a decade spent lingering in limbo, wondering when it might actually see the screen, the film version of manga graphic novel story Battle Angel took a step forward last year when James Cameron handed over the directorial reins to Robert Rodriguez. And now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, we have three potential candidates for the crucial lead role in Maika Monroe, Zendaya and Rosa Salazar.

Cameron, of course, has stepped away from directing this one to focus on his ever-expanding Avatar universe and now he and Rodriguez are looking to find someone who can fill the role and potentially be part of a franchise. What will now be called Alita: Battle Angel is based on 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. There was a short-lived stab at an anime in 1993, and the Cameron version has been in development long enough for him to produce test reels and switch up the technology, and we can assume fellow digital/green screen fan Rodriguez will be bringing all of his technical filmmaking know-how to the project while Cameron produces and advises alongside Lightstorm Entertainment partner Jon Landau.

Monroe appeared in The Guest and broke out with horror thriller It Follows; which in turn helped her land a role in Independence Day: Resurgence, due here on June 24. Zendaya is best known for Disney Channel shows, but has recently scored a part in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Salazar, who has been seen in films such as The Divergent Series: Allegiant and Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, has third Maze Runner film The Death Cure on the way and is part of the cast for Dax Shepard's film version of motorcycle cop show CHiPs. We'll find out soon enough which (if any) of the three wins the role, but whoever does may face similar concerns that yet another Asian character has been cast with someone of a different ethnicity.

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