Akira casting rumours continue
I guess there's one good thing about all these casting rumours for the live action version of Akira, and that's that the project is still moving forward. Of course you might view that as bad news, I'm not entirely sure, it does depend on how much you love the original and how much the idea of a Jaume Collet-Serra directed version with a reduced budget, transporting the setting from Japan to America is going to affect you.
Well like it or not the production is moving forward. Not only has there been a recent rumour about the lead for the film but there are now rumours of other actors looking at the supporting lead and a few other key roles.
The big rumour is for the lead of Akira, Kaneda, which apparently has Garret Hedlund in negotiations to play the part. You'll remember him most likely from the recent TRON: Legacy (Filmstalker review) and with the rumour being carried across all the usual sites you'd expect it to be pretty close to the truth.
Now we're hearing from The Hollywood Reporter through The Playlist that the role of Kaneda's best friend Tetsuo, whose role could be argued as a joint lead since he's the one who ends up seeing his psychic rapidly developing, flying out of control and taking him over to the point of destroying the city, is about to hit screen tests.
It'll all be down to that test I would expect, but I think it's good news that they are looking for relative unknowns and this isn't going the way the original rumours had us believing with a huge named cast eating away at the budget.
One good thing here is that we could be seeing the salary budget heading towards the film where I think it really needs to be, for this film will transform New York into New Tokyo, be set far in the future, is filled with future technology, and has an effects list that isn't your average film.
For me this is where the film might struggle, trying to bring forward the scale and scope of the anime into the live action. Of course there are ways to do it and a clever team could make it work, but Jaume Collet-Serra has previously only directed Unknown, Orphan, Goal II: Living the Dream and House of Wax, is he the man who can do it?
Well every director who has delivered a massive film has started somewhere and moved from small films onto big productions, after all even the Scott brothers were directing adverts at one point.
Hold up though, I'm even ahead of myself, there are other casting rumours on the go through Deadline and Coming Soon that the role of the Colonel is to be going to Gary Oldman that budget has just crept up a little.
I can see Oldman taking the role, but I'm just not sure we'll see the likes of Knightley and Carter joining the film, then the budget for stars is rising a little too fast and starting to eat away at the film budget.
I'm still on the fence about whether this will work or not, what do you think?