Sunday, 6 November 2016

Keean Johnson joins Alita: Battle Angel

With names such as Rosa Salazar (The Maze Runner), Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained), Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen) and Ed Skrein (Deadpool) already in his cast, Robert Rodriguez (Sin City: A Dame To Kill For) is locking down another key role for Alita: Battle Angel. News arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that Keean Johnson (Nashville) will be playing a young man named Hugo.

Alita: Battle Angel is based on Yukito Kishiro's nine-volume manga (known as Gun/Dream in Japan), the story of an amnesiac female cyborg who becomes a bounty hunter, after being rescued from the rubbish dump and rebuilt by a professor of cybernetics. Salazar is on board to play Alita, while Waltz will be the professor.

Skrein is on as a dangerous cyborg named Zapan, who wields a powerful weapon called the Damascus blade. And he is not the only threat, as Jackie Earle Haley will also be a cybernetic villain in the film.

As for Hugo, he is the person who teaches Alita how to play a gladiatorial game called Motorball and has a side gig stealing robot parts. Johnson, who has largely worked on TV series such as Nashville in the US, beat out the likes of Douglas Booth (Noah) and Jack Lowden ('71) for the role, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

With James Cameron (Avatar) – who had been planning a film based on the Manga for years – producing, Alita's cameras should start rolling anytime now for a planned 20 July 2018 release.

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