After languishing in development for years as a project James Cameron had planned on directing, Alita: Battle Angel finally started moving forward last year when Robert Rodriguez signed on to direct, with James Cameron producing. Back in February, we reported that Rosa Salazar was chosen to play the title character, and now that her deal has been finalized, the rest of the cast is starting to come together. Today we have word that Oscar winner Christoph Waltz is in early talks to play Doctor Dyson Ido.

The Hollywood Reporter reveals that, if a deal comes together, Christoph Waltz will play Dyson Ido, the cybersurgeon who discovers the title character and becomes her mentor. This project is based on the Japanese Manga series of graphic novels by Yukito Kishiro. The movie is believed to combine the first three books, Ido, Alita and Hugo.

Set in the 26th century, the story takes place 300 years after a societal collapse caused by a major war. But in that society, it's a technological dark age following a pinnacle of achievement far, far beyond where we are right now. It's a post-apocalyptic world from a very high level with cyborg technology as just a way of life. People are augmented a lot as workers and so on, so being a cyborg is not unusual.

Alita is a cyborg with an artificial body that houses an organic human brain, who appears to be around fourteen years old. After losing her memory, she is found among some wreckage and brought back to life by Dyson Ido. 20th Century Fox is eyeing this project to launch a sci-fi franchise, with James Cameron producing alongisde his Lightstorm Entertainment partner Jon Landau.

20th Century Fox recently set a July 20, 2018 release date for Alita: Battle Angel, putting it up against an untitled animated project from DreamWorks Animation and Blue Sky. Christoph Waltz most recently starred in Spectre and The Legend of Tarzan, and he will next be seen in Downsizing alongside Matt Damon, Jason Sudekis, Alec Baldwin, Neil Patrick Harris and Kristen Wiig, hitting theaters next Christmas.