Disney star Zendaya is among the actresses shortlisted for the lead role in “Alita: Battle Angel”, a James Cameron production.
Robert Rodriguez is directing Fox’s adaptation of the popular manga graphic novels, said The Hollywood Reporter.
The film is envisioned as a big-budget tentpole, and Cameron and his Lightstorm Entertainment partner Jon Landau are producing.
“Alita: Battle Angel” tells of a female cyborg that is discovered in a scrapyard by a scientist.
With no memory of her previous life except her deadly martial-arts training, the woman becomes a bounty hunter, tracking down criminals. The action-adventure story is meant to serve as a backdrop to themes of self-discovery and the search for love.
The movie has not been greenlighted as budgetary issues are still being worked out while the studio seeks to bring it down from the $ 175 million-$200 million range.
Besides 19-year-old Zendaya, others who have tested for the film are Maika Monroe, who starred in “It Follows” and Rosa Salazar, of “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” fame & Bella Thorne, who starred with Zendaya on the TV series “Shake It Up”, say sources.
Cameron and Rodriguez reportedly want to create a star-making vehicle akin to the former’s “Dark Angel”, the TV series that ran from 2000 to 2002 and became a platform for Jessica Alba.
Sources add that Zendaya could be the frontrunner for the role, but that scheduling issues with her hit TV show “KC Undercover” present a stumbling block.