James Cameron spent years trying to find the time to direct a live-action adaptation of Battle Angel: Alita, but - somewhere in between permanently altering the consciousness of the world with Avatar and thinking about maybe writing even more Avatar movies and maybe even having an Avatar theme park - he never quite got around to it.
Enter: Robert Rodriguez, who recently took over directing duties on the project and is now in the process of casting the film. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Rodriguez has the titular role narrowed down to three actresses: Maika Monroe (It Follows, The Guest), Rosa Salazar (The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials), and Zendaya (Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip, the forthcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming). Each of these talented young women have screen-tested for the role, but only one will have their career shot into the stratosphere by a Robert Rodriguez anime adaptation.
At least, that's the plan.
Sources say that Cameron and Rodriguez want to create a star-making vehicle akin to Cameron’s Dark Angel, the TV series that ran from 2000 to 2002 and became a platform for Jessica Alba. Sources also say that Zendaya could be the frontrunner for the role, but that scheduling issues with her hit TV show present a stumbling block.
Battle Angel: Alita (or Alita: Battle Angel, depending on which news outlet you visit this morning) will be a far bigger production than Rodriguez is used to, with a $100M+ budget and the full support of James Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment behind it. For the record, Battle Angel: Alita tells the story of a robot lady/bounty hunter who does martial arts on criminals (as a bonus, The Hollywood Reporter also promises the film will feature "themes of self-discovery and the search for love").
A final announcement regarding this casting decision is expected shortly. Stay tuned.