Watanabe Set to Replace Oldman in Akira. Japanese actor Ken Watanabe (Inception, Batman Begins) is being offered the role of The Colonel in Warner Bros.’ live-action, American, adaptation of the Japanese anime classic ‘Akira’. Watanabe would replace Gary Oldman who was in talks to play the government official charged with harnessing the psychokinetic powers of wayward teen Tetsuo. Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy) is in negotiations for the role of motorcyle gang leader Kaneda, one of the film’s two male leads. Kristen Stewart and Helena Bonham Carter are reportedly also being offered parts. The movie is set in a place called New Manhattan and follows two brothers, Kaneda the leader of a motorcyle gang and Tetsuo, a teen with telekinetic abilities who becomes a dangerous weapon. ‘Akira’ is based on Katsuhiro Otomo’s graphic novel and 1988 anime feature.
A live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s epic 1982 Japanese graphic novel and 1988 anime feature. The new adaptation is set in a futuristic and post-war city, New Manhattan. “Akira” focuses on Kaneda, a biker gang member, as he tries to stop his brother Tetsuo from releasing psycho-kinetic powers that could destroy New Manhattan. The latest screenplay is being rewritten by Steve Kloves (Harry Potter films & The Amazing Spider-Man) from an earlier draft by Albert Torres. “Akira” is being developed by Mad Chance Productions and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions for Warner Bros.. Katsuhiro Otomo, who wrote and directed the 1988 Japanese anime movie of the same name, will executive produce.
Photos and Posters
November 24, 2011 – Watanabe Set to Replace Oldman in ‘Akira’. Japanese actor Ken Watanabe (Inception, Batman Begins) is being offered the role of The Colonel in ‘Akira’. Watanabe would replace Gary Oldman who was in talks to play the government official charged with harnessing the psychokinetic powers of wayward teen Tetsuo. (Twitch)
November 16, 2011 – Kristen Stewart Offered ‘Akira’. Twilight star Kristen Stewart has been offered the female lead in Warner Bros.’ adaptation of the Japanese anime classic ‘Akira’. Stewart would play Ky Reed, a young woman who is part of an underground movement to expose the government for turning orphans into living weapons. (THR)
October 20, 2011 – Warner Greenlights ‘Akira’. Actor Garrett Hedlund may trade Tron’s Light Cycle for Kaneda’s Powerbike. Warner Bros. has greenlit its live-action remake of the anime cult hit ‘Akira’. ‘Tron: Legacy’ star Garrett Hedlund is being considered a front-runner for the role of Kaneda, one of the film’s two male leads. (Variety)
July 14, 2011 – ‘Unknown’ Director to Helm ‘Akira’. Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown, Orphan) is attached to direct Warner Bros.’ planned live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s graphic novel and 1988 anime feature ‘Akira’. Collet-Serra directed Warner Bros.’ hit action thriller ‘Unknown’, starring Liam Neeson. ‘Akira’ was having a hard time getting off the ground. Albert Hughes was previously attached to direct, but exited due to creative differences back in May. (Showblitz)
May 26, 2011 – Albert Hughes Exits Akira. Director Albert Hughes (Book of Eli) has left Warner Bros.’ planned live-action adaptation of ‘Akira’, over creative differences. The movie is having a hard time getting off the ground — and has received a lot of fan backlash for Americanizing the storyline. Keanu Reeves recently dropped out of the project after early talks for the role of Kaneda. (Deadline)
May 7, 2011 – Whoa! Keanu Reeves in Talks for Akira. Keanu Reeves is the latest actor to consider starring in Warner Bros. planned live-action adaptation of ‘Akira’. Reeves, who starred in Warner Bros.’ Matrix trilogy is reportedly in talks with the studio for the role of Kaneda. (Vulture)