Luke Cage Villain Actor in Talks to Join James Cameron's Battle Angel: Alita

Mahershala Ali is in negotiations for Cameron's adaptation of the Japanese manga classic.

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James Cameron's live-action adaptation of the Japanese manga classic Battle Angel: Alita is continuing to add more names to its cast. Following the news that Spectre star Christoph Waltz was joining the film, it has now been reported that Mahershala Ali, who plays the villainous Cottonmouth in Marvel's Luke Cage, is in talks for a role.

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According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ali is in negotiations to join the movie's cast. Ali can be seen as gang boss Cottonmouth in Luke Cage, which hit Netflix last week. He also played Remy Danton in House of Cards, and appeared in both parts of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay.

Battle Angel: Alita is to be directed by Sin City's Robert Rodriguez, with Cameron producing and writing. Cameron intended to direct the movie for many years, but last year handed over the reins to Rodriguez, who is also known for the likes of From Dusk Till Dawn, Desperado, and the Spy Kids movies. Rosa Salazar (The Maze Runner), Jackie Earl Haley (Watchmen), and Ed Skrein (Deadpool) have also been cast in the movie.

Last year, Cameron told Variety: "Robert and I have been looking for a film to do together for years, so I was pumped when he said he wanted to do Battle Angel. He's very collaborative and we're already like two kids building a go-kart, just having fun riffing creatively and technically.

"This project is near and dear to me, and there's nobody I trust more than Robert, with his technical virtuosity and rebel style, to take over the directing reins. We're looking forward to learning a lot from each other while we make a kick-ass epic."

Battle Angel: Alita is the futuristic story of an amnesiac cyborg who becomes a deadly bounty hunter. It was first published in 1990, and ran for nine volumes until 1995. In 1993, a two-episode anime version was produced, which adapted the first two volumes of the manga.

While Fox are yet to announce a release date for the movie, THR has previously stated that the studio is aiming for July 2018.

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