Battle Angel Alita has had a long journey to the big screen, but it looks like the pieces are finally coming together. For many, many years, James Cameron tinkered with the idea of doing a movie based on Yukito Kishiro’s classic manga, but never quite got around to it. So last year he finally passed Battle Angel Alita off to Robert Rodriguez, and the now-renamed Alita: Battle Angel has picked up its lead actress.
Alita will be played by Rosa Salazar, a name on the rise who’s appeared in both the Divergent and Maze Runner films. She’s also the female lead in the upcoming CHiPs remake. Oh, and just to head off any controversy, Alita: Battle Angel will likely avoid the racial politics that have besieged the Ghost in the Shell adaptation, as the original series was set in a post-apocalyptic America.
For those who have never read Battle Angel Alita, it’s the best action manga of all time. Perhaps the best action comic book of all time, period. That’s high praise, to be sure, but it’s a really great series. Alita starts out as an amnesiac, partially destroyed cyborg found in the dump by a scientist. Said scientist rebuilds her, at which point she suddenly discovers she has knowledge of the legendary martial art of Panzer Kunst. She then sets off as a wandering warrior and many adventures ensue.
Basically, the series is a sexy kung-fu Mad Max with robots and a touch of DragonBall Z. Again, it’s pretty great.
No word as of yet on when Alita: Battle Angel will begin production or, for that matter, hit theaters. Yet Robert Rodriguez is not a man known for wasting time. With Salazar in place, things should get into swing soon.