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Tron: Legacy’s Garrett Hedlund Offered Kaneda Role in Akira

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.

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Comments

  • Braunrodman

    piece of shit

  • Mak

    So I guess Hollywood is short on Asians…

  • Sephy

    It’s a US version of the movie set in the US version of Neo-Tokyo. Why is there any sort of surprised they’d go for a US version of Kaneda? (Not implying there aren’t Asians in America, but I’m just addressing the ‘common sense’ aspect of this)

  • Bass Guitar Hero

    I think from the very start this was intended to be a Westernized adaptation of Akira, so I think many of the roles will be Westernized as well (I doubt if Hedlund is cast, his character will still be named Kaneda–same thing with the Lady Miyako character if Carter takes it). I think only the title “character” of Akira will remain totally intact, and possibly Tetsuo if they do cast an Asian actor in the part.
     

  • Mak

    Yeah Yeah I was being sarcastic. I just think Hollywood can still adhere to the masses by staying true to the original material. Harry potter wasn’t some american hipster with a magic stick. They should do the same with Akira… I’m all about updates but at the expense of an excellent backdrop.

  • Ben

    To: Everyone involved on this project

    Please stop. No anime fan that I know of is interested in seeing this adaptation. I consider myself a pretty open-minded guy when it comes to adaptations and this sounds like nothing but pure bad.

    Thanks,
    Ben

  • http://twitter.com/jephd jephd

    If they’re setting it in New New York Matt Groening Should get a cut!

    Also to amerkinise the part just make the character toronto-born and nickname him Canada!

  • Braunrodman

    I understand that they want to Americanize this (does that mean that in the end we will fight the japanese military?) but even if they were why is the dude they picked so damn old, one of the most important aspects of the manga, and what made it so powerful, was that they were kids. 

  • Mak

    I guess Jake Gyyllenhaal will be playing Tetsuo and the General will be played by The Governator

  • RunnerX13

    I wonder, are they Americanizing the names too?  While changing the names would suck, it would be kinda weird for an all white cast to have Japanese names.

  • RunnerX13

    Yeah, adding “New’ to something just to make it sound futuristically really just makes it sound stupid, and New New York nicely points that out.  Neo Tokyo only worked because a lot of anime is in direct response to post-WWII Japan, and their realization that that entire city can be destroyed in a blink of an eye.     

  • jd333

    Turning any anime` into live action is impossible and is a waste of time. One of the characteristics of anime`is it could never be appropriately captured and depicted in the real world. That’s one of the reasons we love it. Here’s a thought, release the original AKIRA in theaters again like in the early 2000’s. Put anime` in theaters as it was created to be, or if you don’t think it will market well, continue not to. Average American movie-goers are too shallow to put the effort in to follow most anime` plots anyway. Heaven forbid they’d have to THINK.