Its been a flurry or development in Jaume Collet-Serra’s AKIRA the past few weeks in who will play the leading parts in the trouble live action version of the classic Katsuhiro Otomo‘s manga. After several years in development hell Warner Bros are hoping the bad times are over and now they can concentrate getting the cast together and late last night it seems Inception/Last Samurai star Ken Watanabe has been offered the part of The Colonel the same part that has been offered to Gary Oldman too who hasn’t yet locked himself into any deals.
Any parts been offered to actors still at this stage seem to be rumour stage so Gary Oldman could still end up as The Colonel however so can Watanabe as another part but what part he could play we don’t really know. Watanabe proven he’s a formidable actor he is also Japanese plus he’s probably now the most recognisable Japanese actor in Hollywood at the moment which would be good for this film to have some Japanese connection rather than the ‘white wash’ that some critics are calling this film with its choices in possible actors.
We already know Garret Hedlund (Tron Legacy), Kristen Stewart (Twilight Saga) have been offered the 2 of the main roles as Kaneda, Kei.We also learned this week there has been a number screen tests for Tetsuo‘ part with names such as Paul Dano, Toby Kebbell, Logan Marshall Green so hopefully very soon we can have some solid confirmed casting news. There’s also been no word on Helena Boham Carter playing Lady Miyaki (who has a minor part in the anime but in the Manga she has an extended part) but once again everything at the moment is up in the air.
As for The Colonel he is responsible for the running of the government group responsible for exploiting the psychokinetic powers of Tetsuo to work with Kaneda the leader of the bike gang and friend of Tetsuo who searches for his friend which ends up been a city wide threat. Akira has been targeted for a spring time shoot hopefully soon some more solid news will appear but no matter what you think of this adaptation there will also be questions over why Hollywood has exploited a classic manga anime, simple remake = $$$.