The live-action Akira film currently being cast (with almost exclusively white actors) is going to need a whole mess of extras and stand-ins to populate the streets of Neo-Manhattan, so a general casting call has been sent out. This is, in and of itself, nothing super exciting, but Bleeding Cool says the call did include a plot description for the new film:
Kaneda is a bar owner in Neo-Manhattan who is stunned when his brother, Tetsuo, is abducted by government agents led by The Colonel.
Desperate to get his brother back, Kaneda agrees to join with Ky Reed and her underground movement who are intent on revealing to the world what truly happened to New York City thirty years ago when it was destroyed. Kaneda believes their theories to be ludicrous but after finding his brother again, is shocked when he displays telekinetic powers.
Ky believes Tetsuo is headed to release a young boy, Akira, who has taken control of Tetsuo’s mind. Kaneda clashes with The Colonel’s troops on his way to stop Tetsuo from releasing Akira but arrives too late. Akira soon emerges from his prison courtesy of Tetsuo as Kaneda races in to save his brother before Akira once again destroys Manhattan island, as he did thirty years ago.
We already knew that director Jaume Collet-Serra’s adaptation was shifting the location of the film from Neo-Tokyo to Neo-Manhattan, but it’s curious that there is no mention of the bike gangs from the original manga and animated film. Is this just an omission from the plot blurb or an indication of a change in direction for this new Akira? It seems kind of hard to believe that they would completely jettison the iconic bikes, so perhaps Kaneda will be a former biker who now runs a bar.
The plot description is accompanied on Acting Auditions by a partial cast list, which seems to confirm that Kristen Stewart, Helena Bonham Carter, and Ken Watanabe have accepted the roles offered to them (Ky/Kei, Lady Miyako, and The Colonel, respectively). There is no source for the cast list, though, so we should probably still consider it speculation.