Akira Script Polished, Casting Soon To Begin - Mania.com

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Akira Script Polished, Casting Soon To Begin

An August planned start date for the new feature coming up

By Chris Beveridge     March 22, 2011

© Toho

Are you ready for what may be the next Dragonball: Evolution or even the next Battlefield Earth? Progress has been made on the script for the Akira live action movie as the very talented Steve Kloves has finished his initial re-write of it for the Hughes Brothers who will be directing what's planned to be a two part movie with each of the films covering half of the original six volume manga. What's new with this production, according to Deadline New York, is that the script is at such a polished place that they're sending it off to a short list of actors who are being targeted for starring roles. According to Fleming over at Deadline, he's hear that for the two major roles, there are some serious names being bandied about. Do keep in mind that this is a heavily localized and adapted film, going into a New York setting, and it's very likely that they're upping the ages of the characters, which is a given going by the names used here, so don't expect the original story ideas revolving around youth, revolt and social pressures to be played out the same.

For Tetsuo, they're hearing Robert Pattinson (Twilight), Andrew Garfield (Amazing Spider-Man, Never Let Me Go, a recent movie based off of a Japanese SF novel) and James McAvoy (Wanted, X-Men: First Class).

For Kaneda, Garret Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justine Timberlake and Joaquin Phoenix are all being bandied about. And according to Fleming, the leads are expected to come from these two groups of actors.

Plot concept:  The story takes place in the rebuilt New Manhattan where a leader of a biker gang saves his friend from a medical experiment.

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Tashiro 3/22/2011 6:57:23 AM

 Nope, not watching it.

doubleO7 3/22/2011 7:04:17 AM

Wow, for some reason I get the feeling that this is not going to turn out very good. Hmm...

And they're actually considering Robert Pattinson? Theres no way he'll ever be bad-ass enough to play Tetsuo.

*sigh* I wish they would just make a proper adaptation of it. Why do they feel the need to americanize everything with a Japanese origin?

jackwagon 3/22/2011 7:15:50 AM

I....I....sweet Jesus I can't believe how awful their casting ideas for Tetsuo are.  Americanizing the storyline is fine (and makes logical sense since it'd likely be in poor taste to set the story in Japan given the recent earthquake disaster), but couldn't they find better choices than these guys?  McAvoy isn't bad, but I'd humbly suggest Aaron Stanford or Ben Foster (both were in X-Men The Last Stand; Stanford was Pyro and Foster was Angel) for Tetsuo.  Hedlund or Pine would make for a decent Kaneda, but for the life of me I can't figure out why they'd consider Joaquin Phoenix.  He strikes me as too old for the role since Kaneda is in his early twenties.  And are they planning on renaming the characters as part of Americanizing the storyline?  Keep Akira as is, but I can't see two American guys named Tetsuo and Kaneda running around.

Then again, while we're talking casting ideas, Joaquin Phoenix could make for a good Ryu....

Tevii 3/22/2011 7:42:56 AM

A live action of the Manga could be so cool.... but it sounds like it will be a mess. Thats too bad. But I guess I'll wait until more info before I condemn it entirely

krathwardroid 3/22/2011 8:08:59 AM

You said it, jackwagon. But I do agree that I'd rather see James McAvoy as Tetsuo than either of those other guys. Kaneda's choices are good, except for Timberlake. I hope they don't flub this one.

GundamWingMan 3/22/2011 8:43:26 AM

doubleO7: Why are the Americanization of Akira? Simple, because 90 percent of the moviegoing public has zero concept of anime, and that's a conservative estimate, so they won't care if the movie's not entirely true to the original manga unlike we otaku would because they've never heard of it. As for the casting, I'm not too thrilled with the suggestions myself, but having Pattinson in the mix is a damn smart move since he'll draw in the legions of Twilight fangirls, thus giving the film a built-in audience before shooting even starts.

Wiseguy 3/22/2011 10:08:59 AM

I think Pattinson is a pretty damn good actor. I think people's hate for Twilight clouds their judgement similar to the way many hated DiCaprio after Titanic yet now most admit his talent.

Gundam, they're Americanizing it because that's what Hollywood does not because most of us don't give a rat's ass about anime. They do it with pretty much any foreign adaptation just like the recent "Let Me In". It just so happens that the USA is the single most important market so Hollywood caters to us, mostly. And I'd say that you're also wrong about Pattinson's built in audience, check the box office for his non-Twilight film "Remember Me"

CGLOVER 3/22/2011 12:27:42 PM

I don't think I can get interested in a movie like this with potential casting like that.

Chris Beveridge 3/22/2011 12:44:08 PM

 But, but, the Twilight will get me!

Wyldstaar 3/22/2011 2:51:38 PM

No good can come of this.  People may see this and think that the original is just as stupid.

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