Zac Efron Taking On Akira Role? -

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Zac Efron Taking On Akira Role?

Genre defining anime film continues its progress in the live action world of Hollywood

By Chris Beveridge     November 06, 2010
Source: MTV Splash Page

Zac Efron
© N/A

Rumors continue to trickle out of Hollywood with the slowly percolating Akira live action project. The latest rumor that seems to come up once in awhile from MTV Splash Page is that Zac Efron has been offered the lead role in the feature, that being Kaneda. The live action production, being shepherded by Leonardo DiCaprio's production company with Albert Hughes working the directorial duties, has been mostly silent for the longest time and this is not the first time we've seen Efron slated for an anime role as he was talked about as being the ideal for a Full Metal Panic movie. 

Akira was originally a six volume manga series released from 1982 to 1990 by Katsuhiro Otomo. Otomo also masterminded the film that was released in 1988 which converted many fans to anime upon seeing in the Western world as animation had largely become purely kiddy fair or less during the 80's with Disney having not secured a hit feature film in some time either. The recent Blu-ray release of Akira, a worldwide affair, became one of the fastest selling Blu-ray anime releases and Japanese releases in general.

Plot summary: Neo-Tokyo has risen from the ashes of World War III to become a dark and dangerous megalopolis infested with gangs and terrorists. The government seethes with corruption and only maintains a token control over the powerful military that prevents total chaos and hides the secrets of the past.

Childhood friends Tetsuo and Kaneda plunge into Neo-Tokyo’s darkest secret when their motorcycle gang encounters a military operation to retrieve an escaped experimental subject. Tetsuo, captured by the military, is subjected to experiments that make him a powerful psychic, but, unfortunately for Neo-Tokyo, Tetsuo’s powers rage out of control and he lashes out at the world that has oppressed him! Nothing can stop the destructive forces that Tetsuo wields except possibly the last boy to destroy Tokyo - AKIRA!



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mudduck454 11/6/2010 11:00:21 AM

this rumor is just as bad as the american version of death note, where it was rumored that he would play light yagami, and miley cyrus was rumored to be cast as misa,  and since they are setting the movie in new york, why even call it akira, just make up a different name, and in the opening credits just say it was based on the manga,

kinda like omaga man was based on the book I am legend,  just dont call it akira unless you have it set in the same city

axia777 11/6/2010 10:31:51 PM

I am coming back today just to say that if this shit goes down I will hunt the movie producers and directors all down and KILL them in their BEDS.  >:(

lracors 11/7/2010 6:36:26 AM

:/ this is such disappointing news for such a great manga....

Dazzler 11/8/2010 4:53:15 AM

I don't get why the Japs can't get their own movies out there with great properties like this and Dragonball...they have ton's of money it seems don't they for budget movies?  Robotech is another one that comes to mind, Macross if you will.  They seem to be on cutting edge of tech in Japan, it would be nice to have a decent rival for movies other than here is the USA.  Some things should not be touched here.  Heck even a Pokemon movie would be nuts even though I don't care about that franchise.  Does not Japan have a movie studio or two or is it all anime?  I don't get it over there....then I go to syfy and they are posting every other day with real robots, or their best attempt that could easily be improved in movies.  

Tevii 11/8/2010 6:42:44 AM

The kid can act. And with Tom Cruise as his mentor he will only get better. However he in no way, can represent a street raised tough gangster.

Perhaps Tetsuo, the scared kid who Kaneda has to defendgrowing up.


skyn3t 11/9/2010 9:04:09 AM

I, for one, am excited over this news!!! I actually wanted him to take the role before they even announced who's directing.  I mean, he looks almost EXACTLY like Kaneda (sans the black hair).  Fanboys may hate it, but you guys gotta realize something, they need to cast a wide net for the audience.  Hollywood is too racist to have an all asian cast, and America is too racist to support such films. Japanese anime tends to have their characters resemble Anglos anyway, so I don't see what the big deal is.

And most people HATED pretty boy Heath Ledger before he became the Joker, and Leo before the Departed - so give Efron a chance here.  It'll be up to the production crew to sell him as Kaneda.  This role could be Efron's break-out role (that's why they call such things 'break-outs',  breaking stereo-types and prior opinions).

That being said, the only way this movie can be a success is through TONE.  See how Resident Evil 1 and The Nolan Batman films won with that.  They have to treat the source material with respect, and execute accordingly (Zack Snyder maybe should've directed this).

Being that this movie is supposedly in Japanese runned New York instead of Tokyo, they can put something in the story to make things a little more acceptable to us Nipponiphiles.  They can say the Kaneda in the film is PART Japanese in lineage (like a quarter or a half).  I lived in Japan for a while and I can say a LOT of mixed Japanese don't look asian at all. It depends on the parents and their genes.

If they want all people to truly accept this film, the director has to make the films a ROCK HARD PG-13 film (more severe than The Dark Knight).   And they should definitely shoot for unknowns to play Testuo and Akira - I mean half the story is filled with TESTUOOOOOOS and AKIRA!!!!  If they change that, it's NOT AKIRA, and NO ONE will see the film!!!!! 

Morgan Freeman is perfect for the role of the Colonel (being that this IS America and most military folks I know are black anyway).  I would've picked James Gandalfini, Deniro, or Pacino though, personally. 

I hope this movie will be as awesome as I envision....  I totally called Christian Bale for Bruce Wayne though years before Batman Begins (see Shaft, American Psycho and Reign of Fire), and I was spot on (Nolan needs to chill with the Batman voice tho and let Bale do his own thing).




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