The following post contains SPOILERS for the famous actor who makes a cameo at the end of Alita: Battle Angel. Five years ago, I would have assumed if you clicked on a link to an article about the famous who actor who makes a cameo at the end of a movie then you would assume it contains spoilers. But I don’t assume anything on the internet anymore.

Alita: Battle Angel ends, like so many movies these days, without an ending.

Yes, Alita has claimed her identity. Yes, she’s become the 26th century newest motorball superstar. Yes, she has a cool new body and roller skates for feet. But she is not satisfied. She has not gotten her revenge against Nova, the shadowy ruler of the floating utopia of Zalem, that hovers, tantalizingly close yet utterly out of reach, over her home in the dystopia grime of Iron City. At the climax, Alita (Rosa Salazar) realizes that Nova has been manipulating all the events of the film, and that he can control and speak through some of his minions in Iron City, like Vector (Mahershala Ali). You can tell when he does it when their eyes light up bright blue.

So, back to the end of Alita. She’s the new queen of motorball, and as she takes the field (track, whatever) she pulls out her light-up sword, and points it skyward towards Zalem. There, high up in the clouds, watching with some kinda fancy robo-glasses, is Nova. And then he pulls off the glasses to reveal he’s ... Edward Norton?!? What is he doing there?

Who knows! But it’s him, presumably because when you make a movie as big as Alita: Battle Angel these days you need to have a plan in place for a sequel before you ever release the first film. Norton’s cameo gives Alita it’s blueprint; in an Alita 2, the Battle Angel finally gets her cyborg hands on Nova.

Director Robert Rodriguez told Digital Spy why he cast Edward Norton in this tiny role:

I tried to find somebody who had a real intelligence to them. We went through a list of people that we could find who were worth bothering to do this, because there's no dialogue or anything. It's really for the setup of, if there was a sequel. We want to put someone here who we would want in a sequel. So it's kind of tough casting to do.

And the sequel could be fun! Norton is a fabulous actor, and while he hasn’t gotten to play too many out-and-out villains in his career, I’m sure he could pull this guy off. I would love to see him rollerblading with Rosa Salazar while they, twirl energy swords at each other. That sounds like pure cinema to me.

Alita: Battle Angel is in theaters now.

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