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Go-to villain Jackie Earle Haley joins Alita: Battle Angel

Jackie Earle Haley on the set of The Tick. (Photo: Steve Sands/Getty Images)

Like a young cyborg pulled from the junkyard, rebuilt by a mad scientist, and then taught to both love and kill, Robert Rodriguez’s Alita: Battle Angel is really coming together. Rodriguez has already cast Christoph Waltz as his dumpster-diving tinkerer, and The Maze Runner franchise’s Rosa Salazar as the film’s cybernetic lead. Now, he’s adding Watchmen and Preacher star Jackie Earle Haley—switching from comic-book adaptations to manga adaptations for once—to the cast of the James Cameron-produced film.

Unsurprisingly, the former Freddy Kreuger will be playing a “monstrous cyborg in a villain role,” according to Coming Soon. Meanwhile, Haley also appeared recently as a murderous supervillain in Amazon’s The Tick pilot, and is expected to play a predatory vampire in the upcoming The Dark Tower, just in case you were worried Jackie Earle Haley might be shying away from his position as Hollywood’s go-to killer creep.


Alita: Battle Angel—based on a 1990 manga by Yukito Kishiro—was originally conceived as a directorial project for Cameron. He handed those duties off to Rodriguez last year, though, although he and Shutter Island writer Laeta Kalogridis are still expected to pen the movie’s script.

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