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Ed Skrein in Talks to Join James Cameron’s ‘Alita: Battle Angel’

“Deadpool” villain Ed Skrein is in negotiations to join James Cameron’s “Alita: Battle Angel” with Robert Rodriguez directing the ambitious adaptation of the popular manga series.

Skrein will join Jackie Earle Haley, Christoph Waltz and Rosa Salazar in the movie with Salazar portraying a 26th century cyborg who’s rescued from a scrapyard and reassembled. Her character, Alita, who only remembers her training in a deadly martial art, becomes a hunter-warrior who tracks down vicious criminals.

Should Skrein’s deal go through, he’s expected to portray a villain. Haley will play a monstrous cyborg and Waltz will portray Doctor Dyson Ido, the cybersurgeon who finds the cyborg and becomes her mentor.

“Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” star Salazar joined the project in March. Cameron and Jon Landau, who will produce for Fox under their Lightstorm Entertainment banner, are also currently in pre-production on four “Avatar” sequels.

Fox has already set a July 20, 2018, release date for “Alita: Battle Angel,” which is expected to have a budget between $175 million and $200 million. Fox is planning a start of production next month in Austin, Texas.

Skrein starred in “The Transporter Refueled” and co-starred opposite Ryan Reynolds in “Deadpool.” He’s shooting the thriller “In Darkness” with Natalie Dormer and Emily Ratajkowski.

Skrein is repped by CAA and UK’s 42 agency and Bloom Hergott.

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