Brace Yourself For The Live Action AKIRA Casting Shortlist

AkiraThere are some days when I think that a live action adaptation of the classic anime film Akira might be a good idea. And then there are some days when I think that it would a monumentally bad idea. Try and guess what kind of day today is.

As writer Steve Kloves has turned in the latest draft of the screenplay, it is starting to look like the long in development live action Akira might actually start shooting in August. Director Albert Hughes and Warner Brothers are beginning to think about casting and Deadline is reporting that they have already started sending out copies of the script to certain actors whom they hope would be interested in participating.

[F]or Tetsuo, Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield and James McAvoy have been given the new script. For the role of Kaneda, the script has been given to Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake and Joaquin Phoenix.

So, who is ready for a live action Akira starring Robert Paterson and Justin Timberlake?

(And before we get another one of those cycle of arguments about not casting Asian actors in the roles like we got during the casting of Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender, keep in mind that the movie’s futuristic location has been changed from Tokyo to New York City. Though I’m not sure how they’re explaining keeping all the original Japanese character names though.)

Now I understand that they need to keep their options open at this early stage of the game, but I think that they might be a little too open here. I find it hard to place an inert screen presence like Patterson in the same category as Garfield and McAvoy. It’s looking like there is at least the thought of casting this more with an eye towards bankable marquee names than with actors who can actually perform the roles well.

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About Rich Drees 6964 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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March 22, 2011 9:33 am