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.
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.