With two of the three major roles cast for Jaume Collet-Serra’s adaptation of Akira, Warner Bros. is set to shore up the role of Tetsuo before Thanksgiving. The Unknown director already has Garret Hedlund (TRON: Legacy) and Kristen Stewart playing Kaneda and Kei respectively, but will hold screentests this Sunday and Monday for Tetsuo, the young man who channels the powerful Akira. Set to test are D.J. Cotrona (Detroit 1-8-7), Logan Marshall-Green (Devil), Toby Kebbell (RocknRolla), Richard Madden (Game of Thrones), and Rami Malek (Larry Crowne). Retesting for the role will be Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine) and Alden Ehrenreich (Twixt). Hit the jump for more on Akira.
Heat Vision reports that Warner Bros. is anxious to wrap up the casting of the lead roles in Akira, having also offered parts to Gary Oldman and Helena Bonham Carter recently. The $90 million project will move from its manga roots in Neo-Tokyo to Neo-Manhattan, but keep the core story of two young men: Kaneda, the head of a motorcycle gang and Tetsuo, a powerful young telekinetic who becomes overwhelmed by his abilities. Kei (Stewart) is a member of a resistance organization who possesses some of her own unique powers.
Right off the bat, I can advance a few of the actors based on looks alone. Granted, I’m comparing their portrayal of Tetsuo to the animated character of the 1988 version, but still. Kebbell, Malek and Dano seem to have the physicality that the animated Tetsuo portrayed. Cotrona and Marshal-Green seem a little too rugged for the part. Although Tetsuo was part of the motorcycle gang, his brawn was definitely not his best attribute. Ehrenreich and Madden look like they could be brothers, but neither of them strikes me as “Tetsuo.”
In the end, I’m pulling for Dano. I think he has a great look for the part and, judging from his performance in Little Miss Sunshine, can definitely act on the mania and torture that Tetsuo goes through. I’m sure some of you will disagree. Let us know what you think about the actors and which one, if any, should get the part. Keep up with all our Akira coverage here.