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Michael Pitt, Paul Dano And Others Being Considered For Tetsuo In Akira Movie

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After years of sitting on the shelf, news about the apparently impending Akira movie seems to be rolling out at high speeds.  First, we got the news that the film is finally being made and will probably be headlined by Garret Hedlund as Kaneda.  Next, there was word of offers being extended to Gary Oldman and Helena Bonham Carter.  Just this week, the weird news that Kristen Stewart may be playing the female lead came out. 

For those of you keeping track, that leaves a pretty big hole in the cast speculations: Tetsuo.  Warners seems to be aware of this gap and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, is hoping to make a casting decision by Thanksgiving.  If you’re curious as to who is in contention for Tetsuo, THR has a list of the guys testing with Warners this week:

D.J. Cotrona (Detriot 1-8-7, G.I. Joe 2: Retailiation)
Logan Marshall Green (Devil, Prometheus)
Toby Kebbell (RocknRolla, War Horse)
Richard Madden (Robb Stark in Game of Thrones)
Rami Malek (The Pacific, Twilight: Breaking Dawn-Part 2)
Michael Pitt (Boardwalk Empire)

THR also says that Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine, Knight and Day, Cowboys & Aliens) and Alden Ehrenreich (Tetro) will be returning to re-test for the role.

As THR points out, almost all of these guys are “up and comers” known at least in part for strong performances in indie films or serious television.  That’s not a bad pool of actors to pull from if you’re looking to cast a character who walks the fine line of mental (in)stability.

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Is Kristen Stewart Really Going To Be The Female Lead In Akira?

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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.

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Akira Remake Gets Serious About Race Bending, Gary Oldman And Helena Bonham Carter Offered Parts

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For anyone who doubted that Hollywood was serious about making the live action Akira remake a reality there’s this breaking news: Offers are out to Gary Oldman and Helena Bonham Carter.

Not only are Oldman and Carter two of the best character actors in the business, they’re big enough names that you don’t normally bother trying to get them unless you’re ready to spend some money on the movie they’re going to be involved in. No word yet on if they’ll accept and join the cast, but the fact that they’ve offered them parts tell us one really important thing about the movie: They aren’t casting Asians.

Though the original Akira anime is peopled with an entirely Japanese cast, we’ve long suspected that Hollywood would sweep all that aside and Westernize it. This move suggests that’s true, but at least if they’re whitening things up, they’re whitening it up with two really good actors.

Twitch says Oldman has been offered the role of Colonel (pictured above) while Helena Bonham-Carter, if she accepts, will play Lady Miyako. And of course there’s Garrett Hedlund, who’s still in talks to play Kaneda. Japanese actors? Nowhere in sight. Someone could at least have the decency to give Ken Watanabe a call.

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Live Action Akira Remake May Star Tron’s Garrett Hedlund

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Akira fans may not have much longer to wait for the live-action adaptation of the anime cult classic.  Variety has learned that Warner Bros finally greenlit the project, which has been under development at the studio since they acquired the rights back in 2008.  Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran are producing the film through Appian Way, with creator of the original manga and writer-director of the 1988 anime Katsuhiro Otomo executive producing.

There are no actors attached yet, although it’s rumored that Garrett Hedlund (TRON: Legacy) is under serious consideration. Because of his demonstrated skills riding futuristic motorcycles? Who knows really, Akira is still in early development stages.

The live-action Akira adaptation hasn’t exactly had a smooth go of it.  Sony toyed with the idea back in the 1990s, but it never got off the ground.  The current WB project originally had Albert Hughes (From Hell, The Book of Eli) signed on to direct, but he left back in May because of what Deadline refers to as “amicable creative differences”.  Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan, Unknown) was brought on in July, but budgetary issues needed ironing out before the film could move forward.

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The Akira Live-Action Remake May Finally Find The Big Screen

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The Akira live-action remake has been rumored, talked about, in pre-production, out of pre-production, with director, without director and in every other development phase you can think of since its announcement nearly four years ago. So many stories have flown around about it that it’s fallen into that realm where we just don’t believe it’s going to actually happen anymore, like Ghostbusters 3 and the Arrested Development movie (yeah, I still don’t buy it).

But it seems like there might be a light at the end of the tunnel for Akira. According to Variety, the film’s producers over at Appian Way, Leonardo DiCaprio’s firm, recently made a presentation to the big whigs over at Warner Bros. who will actually be the ones throwing money at this thing. The big change from previous presentations is that the budget has been drastically revised to what sources believe will be a much more palatable number than what was previously proposed, which bordered on $150 million. Nothing to sneer at.

So with a decision about production right around the corner, the only questions left to be answered are who will direct this beast of a film, and will they do it right? Akira was released in 1988 and is one of the most recognizable and popular animes to date, even now almost 25 years later. Taking on a story of this magnitude is incredibly ambitious and can easily be, for lack of a better term, fucked up royally. The original anime spanned six graphic novels and translating that into a two hour anime was hard enough, making a live-action version on a slimmed down budget could be disastrous.

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Akira Handed Over To Failed Book Of Eli Directors

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akira movieThe Hughes Brothers haven’t done anything worth watching since From Hell in 2001. More recently, they were responsible for one of the earliest contenders for worst movie of 2010, the mostly unwatched Book of Eli. Maybe they had potential or talent at some point in their career, but there hasn’t really been any sign of it in a long time. So of course they’ve been given the reigns of the biggest anime franchise in existence. Yep, they’re live-actioning Akira.