Luke Cage Villain Mahershala Ali Up For Role In Alita: Battle Angel

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After many of you spent this past weekend watching Mahershala Ali turn in an excellent performance as the villainous Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes — a Harlem nightclub owner who butts heads with Power Man as he tries to expand his criminal empire — in Marvel's Luke Cage, The Hollywood Reporter reports that Ali is talks to join the cast of 20th Century Fox's Alita: Battle Angel, a feature film adaptation of Yukito Kishiro's manga series which is being produced by James Cameron and directed by Robert Rodriguez.

If Ali signs on, he will play Vector, a villainous character who "runs and fixes matches in a gladiator-style combat game called Motorball."

Ali's other acting notable credits include House of Cards and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay –Parts 1 & 2.

In the manga series, which takes place in a futuristic dystopian world, cybermedic expert Daisuke Ido comes across the intact head and chest of a female cyborg while sifting through the local dump. He's able to revive her, but she has lost most of her memories. Since she doesn't even remember her name, Ido dubs her Alita after his deceased cat. One of the things Alita does recall is the legendary martial art: Panzer Kunst. She uses that skill to become a bounty hunter who tracks criminals. Along the way, she uncovers the dark secrets of her past.

The cast will feature Rosa Salazar (Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials), Keean Johnson (Nashville), Christoph Waltz (The Green Hornet), Jackie Earl Haley (Preacher), and Ed Skrein (Deadpool).

Alita: Battle Angel is being distributed by 20th Century Fox. Fox is aiming to start production on Alita: Battle Angel in October 2016. Alita: Battle Angel has a scheduled release date of July 20, 2018.