Zac Efron Offered a Lead Role in Warner Bros' Live-Action 'Akira'
There seems to be a lot of casting news flying around today, but this is one report I can admit I am genuinely excited to hear. Both SlashFilm and Bloody-Disgusting were tipped off that Zac Efron, last seen in Charlie St. Cloud and 17 Again, has supposedly been offered a lead role in Warner Bros remake of the anime Akira. This epic two-part adaptation has been in the works for a few years after WB spent lots of money to buy the rights. The Hughes Brothers, of From Hell, The Book of Eli, are currently set to direct, but we haven't heard they have the greenlight yet. Plus, one source says Efron is in talks, the other says it's "far from a done deal."
We're not sure what character he is in the running for, especially since the script written by Albert Torres has apparently been altered a bit from the original anime/manga. Our guess is that he's a good fit for "gang" leader Shotaro Kaneda (hence the photo above), as they'll find someone with more of a wider range to play the crazy Tetsuo. The original Akira was set in a neon-lit futuristic post-nuclear war "New Tokyo" in 2019 where a teen biker gang member is subject to a government experiment which unleashes his latent psychic powers. The gang's leader (potentially Efron) must find a way to stop the destruction he is about to cause.
I'm sure everyone's instant reaction is to scream in anger at this, but you know what, I'm going the complete opposite direction and saying that I'd scream out with happiness. I think Efron is a perfect choice for this and I'd love to see him get the lead. He's been waiting to break out beyond his sappy love stories and cheesy high school flicks, plus with Snabba Cash, this could be his chance to break out. I believe Efron has acting talent beyond what we've seen and would kick some serious ass as Kaneda or even Tetsuo. I know it's hard to imagine, but I support this, I'd like to see it happen. We will keep you updated, since nothing is final yet!
Update: We're not sure how legit this update is, but DigitalSpy published a post a few days later saying that they checked with reps for the Hughes Brothers, directors of the film, and were told that this rumor was "not true." So if we are to believe their source, then Zac Efron is not going to star in Akira after all, but I'm sure the Hughes Brothers are casting now anyway. This should be a big relief to those upset by this news.