Gary Oldman and Helena Bonham Carter May Co-Star in AKIRA

     October 23, 2011


Jaume Collet-Sera‘s adaptation of the manga/anime Akira has a green light and is planning to shoot in the spring, so casting on the film is heating up.  We’ve already heard that bland-exemplar Garrett Hedlund is the frontrunner to play protagonist Kaneda (I’ve always said Hedlund looks like someone with the Japanese name “Kaneda”), but now two far-more-talented actors may be joining the cast.  According to Twitch, Gary Oldman has been offered the role Colonel while Helena Bonham Carter is up for the part of Lady Miyako.

Hit the jump if you’re unfamiliar with Akira and want to know more about the characters.  Oldman will next be seen in Tomas Alfredson‘s spy thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and Carter will be on screens next year in Tim Burton‘s Dark Shadows and Mike Newell‘s adaptation of Great Expectations.

akira_movie_imageHere’s the logline for Steve Kloves’ script:

Set in New Manhattan, the cyberpunk sci-fi epic follows the leader of a biker gang (Kaneda) who must save his friend (Tetsuo), discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments.

Here are the character descriptions for The Colonel and Lady Miyako via Wikipedia (warning: possible spoilers)

The Colonel: The current head of the ongoing government project which was responsible for inadvertently unleashing Akira’s power thirty years earlier. Appearing tough and ruthless, he is nevertheless pragmatic enough to recognize the danger Tetsuo’s fledgling powers pose and cares genuinely for the three Espers under his supervision. Amongst the other government figures depicted in the film, he is shown to be the most principled, eschewing the corruption and hedonism that typifies Neo-Tokyo, adhering instead to a strict code of soldierly honour.

Lady Miyako: A former test subject known as #19, she is the high priestess of a temple in Neo-Tokyo, and a major ally of Kaneda and Kei as the story progresses. She is also an initial ally of Nezu, and gives Tetsuo a lecture on his powers. She plays an instrumental role in the final battle with Tetsuo at the cost of her own life.

  • Sasuke Sarutobi

    After replacing the Asian elements in Dragonball, Avatar the Last Airbender, and now Akira…even with Gary Oldman (who I doubt will actually sign onto the project) I can say with certainty this will be the worst movie of the year. Possibly of all time.

    • Hiro the Eighth Samurai (and 14th Assassin)

      Hear, hear! :D

  • Elle

    and by bland-exemplar you based your WHOLE opinion on…. Let me guess? ONE MOVIE Tron Legacy. You nerds need to get out more often and watch films in non-action and non sci-fi genres…. so you can get out of your bubbles. Oh wait, people only do that when they want to expand their horizons. I’m asking for too much, I’m sorry.

    And now on to reading from another more talented bloggers – because I always thought this is a place for great journalistic, objective, informed movie opinions *end snicker*

  • Bobby K.

    I’m actually quite intrigued by this. This is the first time news regarding a live action “Akira” has piqued my interest. I know a lot of people will be bashing this from beginning of development until long after completion, but that doesn’t mean that the project can’t be a good contribution to film history. The source material is strong (meaning the manga, as the animated film was great, but still had it’s issues [that fans were more than willing to overlook, a consideration they won't give the live action film]). There will always be detractors regarding any adaptation. Let’s get a strong cast (which, so far seems good) and a strong crew and this could be quite impressive.

  • Adrian

    Shutup, Elle. This site actually covers and reviews a lot if indie and arthouse films, font be so ignorant. And also, Garrett Hedlund is a shir actor, cute, but shit.

  • nelson

    hedlund is a very good actor

    he was a bit bland in tron but that can also be put on the director tron was more a visual fest even bridges was not at his greatest in TRON Legacy

    hedlund was great in four brothers and death sentence

  • I cry u smile

    i was originally very skeptical about this movie, but i have to say that the casting intrigues me :)

  • Andrew

    Hedlund was great as antagonist in that revenge thriller with Kevin Bacon. Very intimidating.


    noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ken ‘s inception for the colonnel !!!!!!!!!!!!!! shit shit heldund is no for kaneda !!!!!!!!!

  • Matthew

    No way Helena Bonham Carter signs on for this. No way. Something better will come along for her.

    I’d like to give Gary Oldman the same same credit since he just made Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. But he also made Red Riding Hood. So he just might. (Bet Cranston gets it instead.)

  • Max

    Before it got pushed back to next year because Walter Salles is still editing it, Garrett was on a lot of Oscar shortlists for his work in On the Road, a movie none of these Akira articles acknowledge as even existing. It’s like his entire career began and ended with Tron.

    He’s done a lot of great work – Death Sentence, Friday Night Lights, Four Brothers. And his role in Country Strong was praised across the board even when the movie wasn’t, not to mention the terrific music he recorded for it.

  • Ace

    I will still see it, but this is a travesty to the animated film and the manga. At least with other mangas like Dragon Ball and others, the characters have no race so you can cast who you want. But with Akira, since it’s so deeply rooted in Asian Culture and problems of the Japanese culture and the characters being Asian, the film loses alot of value as being true to the original work.

    It’s Honestly Sad To See.

    • Hiro the Eighth Samurai (and 14th Assassin)

      So, Ace, does that mean you’re going to pay to see it? By doing so, to the studio, that means you’re giving your vote of approval.

      I hope you’re not going to be complicit.

      • Ace

        More than likely, no I will not pay to see the movie at all. I will watch it online just because I care too much of the source material for one thing and another thing, I won’t support the studio in making their decisions of not casting Asians in that movie as well.

        But I see where you were coming from, Thanks for asking that

  • anita

    Matt Goldberg, another ‘film critic’ who stereotypes actors and think he’s writing something valid. Go make some research before talking shit idiot. Walter Salles, the awarded director know way more about actors than you will ever do in your mediocre career and chose Garrett to play Dean Moriaty. STFY and stick to your idiot geek films dude. You’re RIDICULOUS and a NOBODY.

  • debbie

    Bobby K, thanks for your rationality. Collider is just a bunch of pretentious nobodies trying to get some relevance. Not working though.

  • andy

    I’m okay with Hedlund, he was really great in Country Strong but really horrified by the news they could cast the atrocious Pattinson for Tetsuo. It makes me cringe to think the constuipated vampire can be in this movie.

  • rob

    Goldberg kisses Oldman and Bonham-Carter asses because they’re jews. The guy is a douche and a round ZERO.

  • emma

    Goldberg is not a film critic. He just reproduces articles and re-writes them, he has no personality nor can’t think by himself. He and Collider are just examples of mediocre media that floods the net, they have no crediblity whatsoever. Nerds are poor creatures. LOL

  • Jay-Me-Dee

    Live Action Akira just won’t work, IMHO. It is what it is. Messed up. violent, disturbing and interesting. Some might even argue that the anime film wasn’t all that true to the Manga (the story beats are somewhat similar).

    So now there will be an abridged “Americanised” version of an abridged anime version of Akira? Akira is not everybody’s cup of tea, so why try to force feed them with it by “white washing” the main characters?

  • valery

    Duh, Collider is getting more and more ridiculous, not to mention less credible. Goldberg who? You wish you had the success Garrett is having dude, envy kills. You’re just an anonymous and irrelevant nobody working for an irrelevant and lame movie website. Whether you ugly nerds want it or not Garrett’s career is going VERY WELL. Truth hurts huh?

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