casting couch

Mahershala Ali Joins the James Cameron–Produced Manga Adaptation Alita: Battle Angel

Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

You can currently find Mahershala Ali brutalizing mid-level thugs and the good people of Harlem as the villain Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes in Marvel’s Luke Cage. And according to The Hollywood Reporter, Ali is riding that bad-guy mojo all the way to the James Cameron–produced, Robert Rodriguez–directed manga adaptation Alita: Battle Angel. The story is set in the 26th century and focuses on a female cyborg bounty hunter (Rosa Salazar) who is brought back to life after being found by a scientist (Christoph Waltz) in a scrapyard. Ali will play a villain who goes by the extremely sci-fi name of Vector, and who organizes a gladiatorial fighting ring called Motorball. It sounds like a very ambitious project, and another thing for James Cameron to do instead of making those four Avatar sequels he has promised. And if you can’t get enough of Ali, he’ll be appearing in the drama Moonlight later this year, as well as in Hidden Figures.

Mahershala Ali Joins Alita: Battle Angel