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Keanu Reeves In Talks For Akira?

In a twist that’s sure to enrage fans of Katsuhiro Otomo’s groundbreaking cyberpunk manga and anime, Vulture contends Keanu Reeves recently began talks to star in Warner Bros.’ live-action version of Akira.

Yeah, that probably calls for an old-fashioned “whoa.”

Earlier reports had such names as Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield, Chris Pine and Justin Timberlake up for lead roles in the Hughes Brothers adaptation. However, the New York magazine blog asserts that the movie’s staggering $230-million working budget has the studio desperately searching for a co-financier — Legendary Pictures backed out of Akira — or, barring that, a star with worldwide appeal.

Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling reportedly passed. Reeves apparently was next in the Rolodex.

Otomo’s groundbreaking manga is set in a post-apocalyptic Tokyo gripped by gang violence and anti-government terrorism. When Tetsuo, a young member of a biker gang, manifests telepathic powers, he draws the attention of the government, which fears he poses a threat. Otomo himself adapted Akira in 1988 in what’s widely considered a landmark anime.

Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures acquired the rights to Akira from Japanese publisher Kodansha in February 2008, setting up a two-movie project with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way. The studio hired Harry Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves in February to polish the script. Production could begin as early as August.


  • Anonymous

    Yes please lets have Keanu Piss all over yet another beloved comic that is heartlessly being adapted to the big screen. I mean look how well Constantine did for all involved. #FAIL

    How about some actors that aren’t cornfed whiteguys that probably wouldn’t be in Tokyo in the first place!
    There are some great asian actors that could make this movie feel GENUINE.
    John Cho as
    & Jay Chou as
    Kaneda would be perfect. Look at these (
    ) and tell me you don’t agree.

  • Emma Ross

    The people involved in planning this travesty should be taken out into the woods and shot in the balls.

    How long will it be before they’re remaking movies
    “? The way things are going,

    . :(

  • Scud

    I have never wanted a movie to tank so bad in my whole entire life.

  • Lion_okitkat

    From what I remember the last time I read something about this movie, they are setting it in New York rather than Tokyo, but Keanu Reeves is still a bad choice.

  • Elmeaux