Jennifer Connelli playing one of the villains in ‘Alita: Battle Angel’

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Jennifer Connelli

While filming is already underway on Alita: Battle Angel, Robert Rodriguez’s adaptation of the Japanese manga Battle Angel Alita, its cast continues to grow as the wonderful Jennifer Connelli joins the film.

According to Variety, Connelli is playing one of the villains of the piece. She join a cast that includes Rosa Salazar in the lead role of Alita, Christoph Waltz, Ed Skrein, Lana Condor and Jackie Earle Haley.

Based on Yukito Kishiro’s Battle Angel Alita, the story centers on Alita, a cyborg in a post-apocalyptic world, who has lost all memories and becomes a bounty hunter. She is taken care by a scientist, played in the film by Waltz. Jackier Earle Haley is playing the main villain in the film.

The project was first envisioned by James Cameron nearly 20 years ago. Cameron intended to direct the film himself, but put it on hold to focus on what later became Avatar, claiming that the technology for Alita wasn’t there yet. After Avatar became and with several sequels on the horizon Cameron still wanted to move forward with the project but finally decided to step down as a director, hand over the reigns to Robert Rodriguez, but still stay on board as a producer.

Given his sensitivities and passion for the project is a shame that Cameron had to choose between two projects he cared about so much. Time will tell if Rodriguez is up to the task to make a compelling sci-fi movie. We know that he can handle demanding effects on small budgets and still make good looking films, but Alita: Battle Angel is in a whole different playing field.

20th Century Fox has set Alita: Battle Angel for release on July 20, 2018.