Two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained, Inglourious Basterds), per The Hollywood Reporter, is in talks to joins franchise hopeful Alita: Battle Angel, an adaptation of the popular manga graphic novel series. The lofty adaptation, being overseen at Fox, has Robert Rodriguez (Sin City) directing and sci-fi spectacle king James Cameron producing. Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island) are currently credited in penning the script.
Alita: Battle Angel is set in 26th century and tells the story of a female cyborg who is discovered in a scrapyard by a scientist. While she exhibits no memory from how she got she, her lethal combat training is still apparent as she eventually becomes a bounty hunter, going after criminals. Rosa Salazar, who appeared in Insurgent and The Scorch Trials, is already attached to portray the leading role. In plans come to fruition, Waltz would portray the cyborg’s finder and mentor Dr. Dyson Ido.
No further casting choices have been confirmed yet however news may come quickly as Fox is attempting a fall production start with the possible intention of a summer 2018 release.
The role shifts differently from Waltz’s current run of portraying villainous parts. That started, in sorts, with his stateside breakout and Oscar-winning turn in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds and followed through to the recent 007 entry Spectre and the current The Legend of Tarzan. Waltz is next set to appear on screen in the period drama Tulip Fever opposite Alicia Vikander – that film will arrive in early 2017 after being delayed from a planned summer 2016 release – as well as a supporting turn in Alexander Payne’s upcoming Downsizing.