Yes, Akira Might Actually Happen, and These are the Guys who Might Star in It

I’ll be perfectly honest with you — I didn’t think a live-action, Hollywood version of “Akira” would actually happen. Think about it — WHY would it actually happen? It’s popular in Japan and among anime fans, sure, but who actually knows about it in America? Or most of the world? Not a whole lot. There is no real brand here, at least nothing that would justify the surely 100s of millions they’ll have to spend to make this thing (unless they plan on drastically cutting down the sci-fi/tech stuff, I mean).

So yeah, I’m honestly shocked this thing could actually happen, and not just actually happening, but moving forward pretty darn quickly. Deadline is reporting that Steve Kloves’ recent rewrite of the script has gotten everyone from director Albert Hughes to the suits at Warner Bros./Legendary all afluttered. So much so that they’re already eyeing an August start date. THIS YEAR.

And with the script turned in and everyone onboard, all the studio and Hughes have to do now is, you know, cast the thing. The two big characters in the film are, of course, Tetsuo and Kaneda. Curiously, they are apparently keeping the original Japanese names, despite relocating the film to a futuristic “New Manhattan”. My guess is that the title, along with the character names, will be changed by the time production nears. I just don’t see the point in keeping them “Japanese” when nothing else about the movie will be Japanese.

As for the shortlist of actors, Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield and James McAvoy are up for Tetsuo, while the more vital role of Kaneda is being narrowed down to Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake and Joaquin Phoenix.

That’s quite a list. Quite an eclectic list to boot. Of course, “shortlists” have been known to be wrong before…

Trailer for the 1988 original anime by Katsuhiro Ôtomo:



About Nix

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Editor/Writer at BeyondHollywood.com. Likes: long walks on the beach and Kevin Costner post-apocalyptic movies. Dislikes: 3D, shaky cam, and shaky cam in 3D. Got a site issue? Wanna submit Movie/TV news? Or to email me in regards to anything on the site, you can do so at nix (at) beyondhollywood.com.

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  • Vampelle

    what again American actors???
    i can see another movies flop like Dragon ball Z. live action movie or like fist of the north star live action.

  • Anonymous

    stop it america.

  • Anonymous

    stop it america.

  • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool

    Okay people get over it! SERIOUSLY! It’s an AMERICAN made film, and they are WESTERNIZING the story (as much as I hate the idea of it, that’s what’s happening). I doubt they will even still be named Tetsuo and Kaneda. I still think my idea for an americanization of the story would’ve worked. Basically take the idea that “Firefly/Serenity” had of corporations running everything and instead of a Chinese/American unification we have a Japanese/American one. Now have Japan do their experiments here in America instead (because japan is smaller and US has more land). Then just make your normal adaptational tweaks. However it’s a crazy daunting task even if they did a straight adaptation with an all asian cast.

    As for the story, it’s a great sci-fi/socioploitcal commentary. I mean other than the whole thing taking place in Japan it really is a story that could occur in any of the major countries in power, from Japan, to US, to China, to UK. It’s feasable.

    The people mentioned above I’m really not feeling for either part.

    • Anonymous

      Ok people, get over it! Get over the fact that other people don’t want it remade and bastardized!

      that is all.

      • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool

        Dude I’m with you but its happening so its either ignore it, follow the development and hope for the best, or work yourself up over something you have no control over and be perpetually surly til it comes out in which case you refuse to see it anyway. I say you go with choice one but that’s just me.

        Sent on the go.

  • Anonymous

    not to be Racist, since I’m white…but it seems like my people are running out of ideals. That’s why they we need to use content from Asia and then f*ck it up like every other country we’ve introduced Democracy and Christianity to. Movies should be no different!

    just kidding…..I’m not white!

  • Chris5894

    How are they going to Americanise a manga that has Americans as one of the principal antagonists in the later 3 volumes?