If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s the fact that Hollywood constantly keeps an eye out for the next big adaptation. These days, there are few genres riper for the silver screen treatment than Japanese manga. James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez seem intent on getting in on the action with their own adaptation of the popular Manga series Alita: Battle Angel. Simply titled Battle Angel, the project has taken a big step forward by narrowing its search for a lead down to three major up-and-coming actresses.
James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez have kept themselves busy in their efforts to get Battle Angel off the ground. A new report from THR seems to indicate that the film has narrowed its search for lead character Alita down to It Follows’ Maika Monroe, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials’ Rosa Salazar, and K.C Undercover’s Zendaya -- who was also recently cast in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming. All three actresses have reportedly tested for the role, but no definitive decisions have been made at this point.
Whoever manages to nab the role has the potential to become a household name as a result. James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez have reportedly expressed their mutual desire to use Battle Angel as a "star-making" project not dissimilar what Cameron’s Dark Angel series did for Jessica Alba in the early 2000’s. The report seems to point to Zendaya as the current frontrunner for the role, but the production has not pinned her down yet due to potential scheduling conflicts.
Although these are the three main contenders currently in the running for the lead role in Battle Angel, they aren’t the only actresses to have been considered for the part. The THR report also seems to indicate that actress Bella Thorne also tested for the lead role, but it remains unclear exactly where she ranks in the running for the film.
One thing worth noting about these three candidates is how decidedly different they look from one another. This seems particularly notable when we consider just how much controversy the upcoming Ghost in the Shell film – another adaptation of a Japanese Manga series – garnered for casting white actress Scarlett Johansson, and subsequently toying with the idea of making her Asian through CGI. Battle Angel seems to have the leeway to get away with this sort of diverse casting pool because Alita herself is a cyborg, and not inherently designed to have any specific nationality – despite originating from a Japanese Manga.
We here at Cinema Blend will keep you up to date on the upcoming Battle Angel project as more information becomes available. All three frontrunners for the role of Alita are talented actresses in their own rights, so whatever decision James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez make, we have a distinct feeling that the movie will benefit from whoever steps into the role.