According to the Hollywood Reporter, Mahershala Ali is in negotiations to join the cast of Fox’s "Alita: Battle Angel" live-action film adaptation. Ali is perhaps best known for portraying the villain known as Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes on the Netflix series "Marvel’s Luke Cage." If the deal is closed, Ali will reportedly play Vector, one of the movie’s villains, who runs and fixes matches in Motorball, a futuristic gladiatorial combat game.
"Alita: Battle Angel" is based on a series of manga created by Yukito Kishiro in 1990. Set in the 26th century, "Alita" is about a female cyborg (Salazar) 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 who tracks down criminals.
Ali's career has definitely taken off in the last few years -- besides "Luke Cage," Ali is also co-starring on Netflix’s "House of Cards," will appear in the drama, "Moonlight," and also "Hidden Figures," Fox’s period drama about black women in the early days of the NASA space program. "Hidden Figures," co-starring Octavia Spencer and Taraji P. Henson, will have a limited run in December 2016 before receiving a wide release on Jan. 17, 2017.
Produced by James Cameron and his partner Jon Landau, directed by Robert Rodriguez ("Sin City," "Spy Kids") and starring Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jackie Earl Haley, Ed Skrein and Keann Johnson, "Alita: Battle Angel" releases on July 20, 2018.