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.
Kristen Stewart has reportedly been offered the female lead in Jaume Collet-Sera‘s adaptation of Akira. For those unfamiliar with the original manga/anime, the story takes place in the future city of New Manhattan (formerly Neo-Tokyo) and follows Kaneda (played by Garrett Hedlund), the leader of a biker gang tasked with saving his friend Tetsuo, who has potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments. According to Twitch, Stewart is up for the part of “Kei, a young medium who becomes the love interest for Kaneda.” Offers are also out to Gary Oldman to play Colonel and Helena Bonham Carter for Lady Miyako. Filming is set to begin in the spring.
Stewart–who co-stars with Hedlund in the upcoming adaptation of On the Road–is already trying to break free of the damsel-in-distress Bella Swan character by taking on the Snow-White-as-Action-Hero role (weird to write that) in Snow White and the Huntsman. Akira may be another opportunity for her to make sure she’s not seen as Bella for the rest of her career. Since Bella is barely a character, I don’t think that will be too much of a problem. Hit the jump to learn more about Kei.
Earlier today, the news broke that Garrett Hedlund is now in talks to take on the lead role in Jaume Collett-Serra‘s Akira remake. Upset that they weren’t the outlet to break the news, Deadline has chimed in with the old news that Warner Bros. wants Gary Oldman to play the Colonel in the long-gestating project. However, in their report Deadline also revealed that Warner Bros. wants Oldman to star in their period fantasy pic Arthur & Lancelot. The Change-Up director David Dobkin is helming the fresh take on the King Arthur legend, and we recently reported that The Killing star Joel Kinnaman has won the role of Lancelot.
The studio is currently testing a number of actors to find their Arthur, but they apparently want Oldman to take on the role of Merlin. Whether Oldman is keen on the part remains to be seen, but he’s currently filming The Dark Knight Rises for the studio so one assumes they’ll be talking. Oldman is generating some serious awards buzz for his turn in the thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, so he’s understandably fielding a number of offers at the moment. Arthur & Lancelot opens March 15th, 2013.
A few weeks ago, we reported that Warner Bros. may be trying to turn Jaume Collett-Serra‘s Akira remake into a cure for insomnia by making TRON: Legacy star Garrett Hedlund the frontrunner for the lead role. Now it looks like he’ll have it because according to Variety [and first reported by Twitch] Hedlund is in talks with WB to play Kaneda. Warner Bros. couldn’t make an offer to Hedlund until the budget was in place and I’m assuming the offer was, “You starred in TRON: Legacy and you’re getting a second chance at a major sci-fi blockbuster. You’re welcome.” If you think I’m being overly harsh on Hedlund, please direct me to the movie where he gave a magnetic and captivating performance.
But maybe he hasn’t been given the chance. Maybe films like Georgia Rule and Country Strong haven’t provided Hedlund with the chance to shine. However, he’s playing Dean Moriarty in the adaptation of On the Road, and that’s a damn fine character so we’ll see how he does. If you’re unfamiliar with Akira, hit the jump for a synopsis of the original manga.
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.
If you’ve been keeping tabs on the development of the Akira remake over the past couple years, you know it has been a long and bumpy road up to this point. Warner Bros. has always remained committed to the property, though. According to Variety, the studio has finally made it official with a greenlight for a $90 million budget and an eye toward a late February/early March start date. The report confirms that Jaume Collett-Serra (Unknown) will direct, and provides this synopsis for the Steve Kloves script:
Set in New Manhattan, the cyberpunk sci-fi epic follows the leader of a biker gang who must save his friend, discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran are producing for Appian Way alongside Andrew Lazar, representing Mad Chance. Katsuhiro Otomo, the man behind the Akira manga and the writer/director of the 1988 anime adaptation, will executive produce the remake. More after the jump. [Update: ...including a comment on the news that Tron: Legacy star Garrett Hedlund's is the frontrunner for one of the lead roles.]
Despite being a bad movie, Jaume Collet-Serra’s Unknown raked in $130 million worldwide off a $30 million budget. Collet-Serra’s been linked to a reimagining of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a remake of Le Cercle Rouge, and possibly the 300 prequel Battle of Artemisia. Now Variety reports that he’s in talks to direct Warner Bros’ adaptation of the anime/manga Akira. You may recall that director Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli) left the project in late May and that Harry Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves handled the latest draft of the script. Warner Bros. is now envisioning the film as a $90 million tentpole. However, we previously reported that WB was planning on splitting the six-volume manga into two films so I’m not sure if the $90 million is supposed to cover both movies or just the first one.
However, even if Collet-Serra does come on board, Warner Bros. still faces the issue of casting the two lead roles of Tetsuo and Kaneda. The futuristic story has been reset from Neo-Tokyo to Neo-Manhattan and the broad overview of the story is that Tetsuo is the leader of a biker gang who has to stop his mutated friend Kaneda from destroying the city.
Director Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli) will no longer be directing Warner Bros. adaptation of the acclaimed manga Akira. Hughes left the project over “creative differences”, but before you assume that’s the nice way of saying Hughes told the studio to fuck straight off, Deadline reports that he still plans to set up a different movie at the studio in the near future.
It’s possible that Hughes left the film over the studio’s uncertainty over who to cast in the lead roles of Tetsuo and Kaneda. At first, they were looking at a diverse array of actors ranging from rising stars like Andrew Garfield and Garrett Hedlund to more established names like Robert Pattinson and Chris Pine. But then Keanu Reeves started circling the project and suddenly Warner Bros wanted a more established box office star. However, he passed on the film and now the studio is back to their original list. That has to be frustrating for a director and I’m not surprised that Hughes has backed out. Hit the jump for more details on the project.
Talks between Warner Bros. and Keanu Reeves regarding his role in the studio’s adaptation of the manga-turned-anime, Akira, have come to an end with Reeves passing on the project. JoBlo broke the news of the deceased negotiations earlier today which quickly spawned questions concerning the film’s future at the studio. While I’ll stop short of projecting the film’s long-term outlook, for now we have confirmed the accuracy of the original report with the studio who reassures us that Reeves passing on the role has not killed the project which is set to be directed by Albert Hughes (The Hughes Brothers) from a rewritten script by Steve Kloves (the Harry Potter series).
Although the constant back-and-forth regarding Akira casting may appear to be a bleak sign for the project (a shortlist of names including Robert Pattinson and Chris Pine previously appeared here, with names like James Franco and Zac Efron being rumored here and here), it’s worthy to note that many high-profile/big-budget projects such as this have a difficult time getting off of the ground initially. As such, we should most likely expect Warner Bros. to begin courting another upper-echelon name to attach to the project in the near future. For more on Akira, including a statement from the studio, hit the jump.
The live-action version of Akira may actually be happening. After Warner Bros. secured a co-financer for the $230 million pricetag (Legendary Pictures, who just recently backed out of the deal), and Harry Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves turned in a rewrite of the script that had everyone eager to get going, producers began searching for their cast. Directors the Hughes brothers have been searching for an A-lister with global appeal to star in the flick (you don’t gamble that amount of money without ensuring that you’re gonna rake in serious international revenue), but for a while it seemed like they were searching in vain.
Now, Vulture reports that Keanu Reeves is in very early talks to take on the starring role in the film. Based upon the manga and the 1988 anime adaptation, Akira centers on teenager Shōtarō Kaneda and his quest to stop his friend Tetsuo from destroying Neo-Tokyo. Hit the jump for more on the project.
[Update: Heat Vision reports that Reeves is in talks for the role of Kaneda, the gang leader.]
The live-action remake of Akira is on its way, folks, thanks in large part to the pen of Steve Kloves (the Harry Potter series). Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures are reportedly very pleased with Kloves’ rewrite and eager to get Akira in front of cameras in August. Recent casting rumors have been all over the place for the teenage main characters Kaneda and Tetsuo: from Zac Efron (23) to James Franco (32) to Brad Pitt (47). The implication has been that the studio is seeking a “massive star” to anchor the film, which apparently leads to some leeway in the agery. Deadline lists the actors that have received a script from the studio:
- For Tetsuo: Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield, James McAvoy
- For Kaneda: Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake, Joaquin Phoenix
The Hughes brothers (Book of Eli) are on board to direct Akira, which adapts Katsuhiro Otomo’s 6-volume manga. The plan is to make two films, each of which covers three books in the series, as producer Andrew Lazar told us last summer. Hit the jump for more information on the project and background on the story.
Warner Bros. has hired Harry Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves to do a polish on the script for the Hughes Brothers’ adaptation of the Japanese manga Akira. For those unfamiliar with the manga and the 1988 anime adaptation, the story centers on teenager Shōtarō Kaneda and his quest to stop his friend Tetsuo from destroying Neo-Tokyo. Per Variety, “the latest version of the script was penned by Albert Torres (Henry Poole Is Here), with earlier drafts by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby and Gary Whitta.” The problem is that “polish” is a very flexible word when it comes to script work and there aren’t any details on what Kloves’ polish will entail. However, since Kloves has done strong work on the Harry Potter films (he wrote all of them except for Order of the Phoenix), he seems like the right guy to take a crack at helping to condense the six-volume manga into a live-action feature film.
As we reported yesterday, Warner Bros. won’t greenlight the film until they can attach a major star to play Kaneda. Strangely, Vulture’s story said that Warners was courting Brad Pitt for Kaneda (he passed on the role), which could mean that the script has re-tooled the character to be significantly older.
Mila Kunis has signed on to play Theodora, the Wicked Witch of the West in Sam Raimi’s Oz, The Great and Powerful. Vulture reports that James Franco, who was previously in talks to play the Wizard, decided to sign on once Kunis came on board. This new spin on The Wizard of Oz centers on the eponymous character’s origin as well as the backstory to Glenda, the Good Witch of the North, and Evanorah, the Wicked Witch of the East (aka the Wicked Witch of Getting Smushed by Dorothy Gale’s House).
Interestingly, Kunis was considering re-teaming with The Hughes Brothers (The Book of Eli) to play Kei, the love-interest of main character Kaneda, in his adaptation of the acclaimed manga/anime Akira. According to Vulture, Warner Bros. was willing to have Kunis play the part but only if they could get a major star to play Kaneda due to the project’s hefty price tag. The role was offered to Brad Pitt (who is waaaay too old to play the teenage Kaneda of the manga) but he passed and therefore the project can’t start because Warners needs to find an actor who’s right for the part (read: can draw a worldwide audience) and available (although with no set start date, it seems like the project would be built around the lead actor’s availability). Faced with an unknown start-date for Akira and a July start for Oz, Kunis chose the latter.
It looks like the big screen adaptation of the manga Akira may have found its star. A live-action version of Akira has been in the works for a while now, and most recently the Hughes brothers (The Book of Eli) were tapped to helm the project. Now, they may have found their lead. James Franco is apparently in talks to star in the film. Fair warning: there’s been no official confirmation that Franco is circling the project, so this could turn out to just be a rumor, but Just Jared is saying he’s very much involved.
Akira tells the story of a biker living in New Manhattan who saves his friend from a medical experiment. Zac Efron was the last actor rumored to be taking on the role. Franco’s name most recently came up regarding Sam Raimi’s Oz, the Great and Powerful. He’s apparently in talks to star in that film, and has also been rumored to be looking at the Linda Lovelace biopic Lovelace. The actor/director/writer/student will next be seen hosting the Academy Awards with Anne Hathaway on February 27th. I think we can all agree that Franco really likes doing things.
Artist Justin Van Genderen, who did the wonderful travel agency-style posters for various Star Wars locales, is back. This time, he’s turned his attentions to the exotic locales of Gotham City, Metropolis, Neo Tokyo, as well as a Fantastic Four and Spider-Man-inhabited New York City. These posters are really stunning so hit the jump to check them out. Also, after the jump I’ve included details on where you can purchase these lovely posters.