According to the THR, Ed Skrein of Deadpool fame has joined the cast for Alita: Battle Angel. The ambitious science fiction blockbuster is due to hit cinemas mid 2018. The 33-year old English actor and rapper is looking to step back into the bigtime. He was a hit as the Marvel villain Francis Freeman/Ajax in 2016's R-rated comicbook adaptation. Thanks most in part to Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool became box office gold.
A man synonymous with the genre is James Cameron. He is on board to produce while Robert Rodriguez will direct the picture based on Yukito Kishiro's Battle Angel Alita manga. The casting process has kicked off with Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz and Jackie Earl Haley. Not a bad start!
Background on Alita: Battle Angel Story and Origins
Known as Gunnm in native Japan to mean "gun dream," Alita: Battle Angel is a 9 volume graphic novel series created by Yukito Kishiro. The series centers around a cyborg that is recovered by a doctor in a post-apocalyptic future. Upon recalling her lost memory she becomes a bounty hunter.
James Cameron is said to only want to adapt the spine of the story rather than the entirety of the 9 volumes. He is making it a point to bring the fictional sport of motorball to life from the 4th edition. It will come as no surprise that Skrein will once again be a bad guy, this time playing Zapan - a cyborg out to kill Alita (Rosa Salazar). The villain is known for a weapon called the Damascus Blade.
Lean Skrein Staying Keen As He Keeps Himself Busy
Having released a studio album back in 2007 titled "The Eat Up," the Brit has turned his attentions away from the music scene for the time being to make sure he can be the best villain possible. Making his mark on Deadpool with some well-earned screen time, he also made a splash as Daario Naharis for 3 episodes on Game of Thrones.
He also starred in the 2012 action flick The Sweeney and gave Jason Statham a run for his money in the leading role as Frank Martin in The Transporter Refueled.
Adapting a Japanese graphic novel series from 1990 will be a difficult task for Cameron, Rodriguez and the cast but the elements are there to make it a success.