Robert Rodriguez’s Alita: Battle Angel movie casts Preacher star

Battle Angel Alita movie casts Watchmen star in villain role

The Battle Angel Alita movie, which is confusingly called Alita: Battle Angel, has added another name to its cast.

Jackie Earle Haley as Odin Quincannon in Preacher
Jackie Earle Haley as Odin Quincannon in Preacher

THR reports that Jackie Earle Haley has joined Christoph Waltz and The Maze Runner‘s Rosa Salazar in the Robert Rodriguez-directed film, based on the manga series by Yukito Kishiro. The movie has been in development for years now, with James Cameron originally set to direct. Cameron has stayed on as producer, and he’s also written the script with Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island, Terminator: Genisys).

The site reports that it is “believed” that “Haley will play a monstrous cyborg in a villain role that will call for plenty of CG and greenscreen.”

“Set in the 26th century, Alita tells of a female cyborg (Salazar) that is discovered in a scrapyard by a scientist. With no memory of her previous life except her deadly martial-arts training, the woman becomes a bounty hunter, tracking down criminals. The action-adventure story is meant to serve as a backdrop to themes of self-discovery and the search for love.”

Waltz plays “Doctor Dyson Ido, the cybersurgeon who finds the cyborg and becomes her mentor.”

While we’re big fans of all three of these actors, we can’t help but point out that that’s three lead roles cast and not a single Asian actor in sight (yep, we are aware that the manga takes place in the US and where Alita’s memories are set). With this, Ghost In The Shell and Death Note casting non-Asian actors in their lead roles, it’s hard not to get increasingly frustrated by this, not to mention the discussions swirling around Doctor Strange and Iron Fist. That being said, it is great to see a non-white actor in a lead role of a movie of this nature, and that is obviously important (we see you, Ghost In The Shell).

Alita: Battle Angel will be released on 20 July 2018. Keep up with the latest genre news with the new issue of SciFiNow.