Rosa Salazar is said to have won-out the lead role of Alita in former James Cameron directorial project Battle Angel, which will not be helmed by Robert Rodriguez. Cameron will still be an executive producer on the manga and anime feature film adaptation, but has obviously put his directing efforts into the multiple sequels to Avatar.
Keep in mind this is coming from Collider, and hasn’t been confirmed by trades or made official.
UPDATE: The Hollywood Reporter is backing up the story with their own confirmation.
Rosa isn’t a stranger to bigger films as she plays Brenda in the Maze Runner franchise, also at Fox and she’ll be apart of the CHiPs reboot film later this year.
She had been one of my favorites to land the role of Logan’s female clone Laura Kinney aka X-23 in Wolverine 3 and X-Force. However, Battle Angel doesn’t have official production start date or even a release date, so it’s possible she might still be in mind to play Kinney.
It’s a bit odd that Salazar (30) has been cast in the role. Originally, James Cameron had cast a teenaged girl to play Alita in the test-footage he shot during post-production on Avatar years ago, making more of an impact that this small little girl was able to beat the living-hell out of grown adult men and cyborgs. It’s possible the studio and Robert might have asked to hire an older actress for the part.