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Following months of rumors, Twitch reports Tron: Legacy star Garrett Hedlund has been offered a lead role in Warner Bros.’ live-action adaptation of Akira.
Hedlund was mentioned as far back as March as a potential contender to play gang leader Kaneda in the new take on Katsuhiro Otomo’s pioneering cyberpunk manga and anime. The studio finally greenlit the estimated $90 million movie last month, with Unknown director Jaume Collet-Serra expected to begin shooting as soon as late February or early march.
Serialized from 1982 to 1990, Akira is set in a post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo — it’s changed to New Manhattan for the U.S. movie — 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. Gary Oldman and Helena Bonham Carter reportedly have been offered the roles of the Colonel and high priestess Lady Miyako.
Warner Bros. has had a difficult time with Akira since it acquired the rights to the manga in 2008 in a seven-figure deal with publisher Kodansha. The project has passed through two directors — Ruairi Robinson predated Albert Hughes, who signed on in February 2010 only to walk away a year later — before settling on Collet-Serra in July.