Mahershala Ali is going from battling a bulletproof man to a female cyborg.
The Luke Cage star is in talks for a role in James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez’s post-apocalyptic sci-fi film, Alita: Battle Angel, EW has confirmed. After his high-profile role as Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes, Ali is tackling another villain in Alita; he’s in talks to play Vector, who runs a gladiator-type combat game called Motorball.
Alita, which is based on Yukito Kishiro’s manga series, is set in the 26th century and follows a female cyborg-turned-bounty hunter. Rosa Salazar (Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials) will play the lead role, with Christoph Waltz and Jackie Earle Haley also on board for the film, which hits theaters on July 20, 2018.
While Cameron originally intended to direct the film after writing the adaptation, he will stick to producing the project and Rodriguez will be behind the camera.
Ali has been a busy man of late appearing in Luke Cage, wrapping up his run on House of Cards, and possibly garnering awards season attention with his upcoming film, Moonlight.
“My manager was worried about me,” he told EW of his packed schedule. “It was a little bit of a crucible, a rite of passage, you know? I knew it would be a bit of a marathon, but I felt, deep in my bones, like it was something I absolutely had to do.”
The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.