Netflix’s “Luke Cage” villain Mahershala Ali, also a star in the acclaimed upcoming dramatic film “Moonlight,” is in discussions to join the cast of 20th Century Fox’s “Alita: Battle Angel,” TheWrap has learned.
A manga graphic novel adaptation about a female cyborg (Salazar) discovered in a scrapyard by a scientist in the 26th century, the film is a Cameron project that’s been in the works for a while.
Equipped with lethal martial arts skills, the cyborg becomes a bounty hunter.
As he does on the instantly popular Netflix series “Luke Cage,” which debuted late last week, Ali will play a villain in the film — a man named Vector who runs Thunderdome-esque game called Motorball.
On the Netflix show, the actor — also known for his role as Remy in “House of Cards” — plays the nefarious club-owning Cottonmouth.
“You want entertainment in general, every aspect of it, to be more of a reflection of the diverse world that we live in,” Ali told TheWrap during a recent interview when asked about the predominantly black cast in “Luke Cage.” “Cultures and races are mixing in a very organic way in the world, and that should be reflected in film and television.”
Ali also appears in the upcoming Fox drama “Hidden Figures,” about a group of black women who worked for NASA in the early days of the space program.
Ali is represented by WME.