It’s been difficult to pin down what the Jaume Collet-Serra‘s adaptation of Akira will be about since the property was originally a manga before it was turned into an anime, and so there are two different sources for Steve Kloves‘ screenplay. We knew that the movie would change the post-apocalyptic setting from “Neo-Tokyo” to “Neo-Manhattan”, but now a full synopsis for the film has possibly leaked online. Hit the jump to find out what’s going down in the live-action adaptation and how the new movie has drastically changed the protagonist’s profession.
Akira is set to start filming this spring so a casting call has gone out for extras and stand-ins. The website Acting Auditions [via BleedingCool] has reportedly posted that casting call, which includes the following synopsis:
Kaneda (Garrett Hedlund) is a bar owner in Neo-Manhattan who is stunned when his brother, Tetsuo, is abducted by government agents led by The Colonel.
Desperate to get his brother back, Kaneda agrees to join with Ky Reed (Kristen Stewart) and her underground movement who are intent on revealing to the world what truly happened to New York City thirty years ago when it was destroyed. Kaneda believes their theories to be ludicrous but after finding his brother again, is shocked when he displays telekinetic powers.
Ky believes Tetsuo is headed to release a young boy, Akira, who has taken control of Tetsuo’s mind. Kaneda clashes with The Colonel’s troops on his way to stop Tetsuo from releasing Akira but arrives too late. Akira soon emerges from his prison courtesy of Tetsuo as Kaneda races in to save his brother before Akira once again destroys Manhattan island, as he did thirty years ago.
I’ve never seen the anime or read the manga, but I’m pretty sure Kaneda being a biker and not a bar owner is one of the defining aspects of his character. I’m pretty sure because this is the poster for the anime:
He’s probably walking towards the motorcycle because he likes to ride it.
Taking that character and sticking him behind a bar isn’t quite as dynamic, although it would certainly work for an actor as bland as Hedlund. I’m betting that Akira fans are pulling out their hair at this point. However, I find it difficult to believe that they would remove an element that’s not only iconic, but something that’s cool and visually appealing.