Forget vacations for Mahershala Ali. Luke Cage‘s Cottonmouth Stokes could be well on his way to working with James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez in the highly anticipated Twentieth Century Fox film Alita: Battle Angel.
Rodriguez, who is helming the project, already has cast Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jackie Earl Haley and Keann Johnson. And now, according to The Wrap, the Sin City director has his eye on Ali.
If everything works out, Ali will play Vector, a villain in the film who runs a game called Motorball.
Ali has come a long way in a relatively short period of time, beginning just 15 years ago when he appeared in Crossing Jordan with a much-harder-to-remember name Mahershalalhashbaz Ali. His Bible-inspired name was one he kept for a decade on screen, from The 4400 to Treme just a few years ago.
He finally shortened it, but parts weren’t slowing down. He landed on Syfy’s Alphas and soon after the popular Netflix series House of Cards, in a role that has earned him his first Emmy nomination this past year.
Fans already are screaming about his work in Luke Cage, and now everyone seems to be after him.
Alita is based on the 1990s graphic novel from Yukito Kishiro based in, of course, a post-apocalyptic future. Alita is a cyborg with no memory and left on a garbage heap, only to be restored by a cybernetics doctor leading her to become a bounty hunter.
Cameron has held the rights to Alita longer than Ali has been getting television roles, dating back to 2000. The project has been delayed numerous times while Cameron focused on other films like Avatar and its sequels. Finally last year, Cameron stepped aside as director and let Rodriguez take the reins, although he and director Jon Landau remain as producers.
Fox has set a release date for July 2018, meaning principal photography will finally begin on the long-awaited Alita project early next year.
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