With production set to begin this fall, Robert Rodriguez is slowly but surely putting together his cast for Alita: Battle Angel. We already know that Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials actress Rosa Salazar will star, and now THR is telling us that Christoph Waltz may join her.
For those who’ve been following the project, you’ll know that Salazar will play Alita, “an amnesiac female cyborg who becomes a bounty hunter.” Should negotiations with Waltz work out, he’ll play Dr. Dyson Ido, a “cybersurgeon who becomes Alita’s mentor.”
As with Ghost in the Shell, this seems to be another case of Hollywood whitewashing anime stories when it comes to adapting them for film, and you can bet that fans won’t be too happy about it. Battle Angel may still cast some actors of Japanese descent, but it’s clear that the producers and the studio are looking elsewhere for the leads.
That’s not to say anything against Waltz though, as he’s a tremendous actor and it’ll be nice to see him in a non-villain role (the last time we saw him he was menacing Tarzan), especially as he does have a lot of range and can adapt to almost any part. That being said, there will no doubt be some serious backlash against this casting news.
Alita: Battle Angel will be with us on July 20th, 2018.