The long and storied history of the Akira live-action adaptation continues today with news that had me checking the nearest calendar to make sure it wasn’t April Fool’s Day. Kristen Stewart, of Twilight fame, has been offered a role in Jaume Collet-Sera’s upcoming film, and not just as a side character that serves no purpose to the story.
According to Twitch, Stewart was offered the role of Kei, the stand-offish rebel medium who quickly becomes Kaneda’s object of affection. We’re not looking to baselessly hate on Kristen Stewart. All things considered she’s not a horrible actress and certainly has a place on the big screen, but it is not here. If Kei simply needed to look sad and/or confused the whole time, then absolutely Stewart should nab this role, but Kei is deeper than that.
Of course, the offer has only been sent out, not accepted so hopefully we’ll see this turned down so that another actress, one that’s a little rougher and tougher, can have a shot. There’s still a long way to go before Akira starts lensing, but casting is well underway with Garrett Hedlund on board to star as Kaneda, and Gary Oldman and Helena Bonham Carter in the list to support. Kei is a big role, but in my opinion the biggest role hasn’t been filled yet–that of Tetsuo, the film’s most changing character.
Akira has monumental potential to fail, though that’s not what we want to see happen. Stewart accepting the role will certainly not kill the film, but it certainly feels like a film like this needs actors that are a little higher calibre. Sorry, K-Stew, this role just isn’t for you.