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Twilight star Kristen Stewart has been offered the female lead in Akira, Warner Bros.’ live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s pioneering cyberpunk manga and anime, Twitch reports.
She would play Kei, a young revolutionary who becomes the love interest of carefree gang leader Kaneda during the search for his friend Tetsuo. Keira Knightley (Pirates of the Caribbean) previously had been rumored as a possibility for the role in director Jaume Collet-Serra’s film.
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.
Tron: Legacy star Garrett Hedlund is in negotiations to play Kaneda, while Ezra Miller (We Need to Talk About Kevin) and Alden Ehrenreich (Tetro)are rumored to have read for the role of Tetsuo. Offers have also gone out to Gary Oldman and Helena Bonham Carter, who would play the Colonel and Lady Miyako. Production is expected to begin on Akira in late February or early March.