THE MOVIE: A secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psionic psychopath that only two kids and a group of psionics can stop. A big screen adaptation of Katsuhiro Ohtomo’s popular anime Akira has been stuck in development hell for some time. Read the updates below for details.
Updates: James Franco has confirmed being in talks to play the lead biker gang leader. | Robert Pattinson, James McAvoy and Andrew Garfield are being considered for Tetsuo. | Chris Pine, Michael Fassbender, Justin Timerlake, and Joaquin Phoenix are being considered for Kaneda. Collider notes that Keanu Reeves dropped out of the project.
Deadline notes that Albert Hughes dropped out over “creative differences.” | From Slash, Warner has re-greenlit the film for shooting this coming March with Orphan’s Jaume Collet-Serra now attached as director | Garrett Hedlund (Tron 2) has officially been offered to ruin play Kaneda. | Anime News Network via THR reports that Keira Knightley has been offered an unspecified role.
Tetro’s Alden Eherenreich and We Need To Talk About Kevin’s Ezra Miller are being pursued for Tetsuo. | Warner is aiming for a PG rating and a $90 million budget. | Kristen Stewart has been offered the part of Kei, the female spy. | Yellow-face candidates for Tetsuo as THR notes that G.I. Joe 2′s D.J. Cotrona, Prometheus’s Logan Marshal Green, Rocknrolla’s Toby Kebbell, Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden, Night at the Museum’s Rami Malek, Boardwalk Empire’s Michael Pitt, Cowboys & Aliens’ Paul Dano, and Tetro’s Alden Ehrenreich are all contenders for the part. | Inception’s Ken Watanabe is now up for the part of The Colonel.
Warner has shut down production on the film due to casting and budgetary issues. | Variety reports that Warner will rework the script and then decide whether or not to continue. | Chris Nolan’s brother Jonathan is attached to a rewrite. | Variety suggests that the reason production has stopped is because Warner appears to be satisfied with its current slate of tentpoles.
Jaume Collet-Serra (Non-Stop) is in discussions with Warner to return to the Akira directors chair. The director left in early 2012 after production stalled. Filming is set to begin in spring of 2014. Leonardo DiCaprio (Growing Pains) is producing, along with Jennifer Davisson Killoran (Orphan) and Andrew Lazar (Jonah Hex).
Director Jaume Collet-Serra chats a little about Akira in hopes that it will be his next film after wrapping up Run All Night (action flick with Liam Neeson and Joel Kinnaman). Now that he has done Unknown and Non-Stop, he says: “the powers that be are interested.”
BREAKING NEWS: THR reports that Marco J. Ramirez, the scribe who will be co-showrunning the second season of Netflix’s Daredevil, will write Akira, the Warner Bros. long-in-the-works adaptation of the Japanese manga classic.