It's Confirmed: Garrett Hedlund Now in Talks to Play Kaneda in 'Akira'
Well, there you go. He's gone from being the frontrunner to being offered the role to, according to the latest update on Variety, accepting the role and moving into "talks" with Warner Bros. Garrett Hedlund, young star of Tron Legacy, is in talks to play Kaneda in Jaume Collet-Serra's live-action Akira movie. His name first came up when WB finally greenlit the project after going through numerous production evolutions and director changes. Now that they're moving forward with Collet-Serra at the helm, casting is their next focus, and Hedlund is only the first of many names to be involved, as they have yet to cast Tetsuo and many others.
Set in New Manhattan, Warner Bros' live-action Akira, based on Katsuhiro Otomo's manga, is a cyberpunk sci-fi epic that follows the leader of a biker gang named Kaneda (Hedlund) who must save his friend Tetsuo, discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments. One joke I can make is that at least Warner Bros knows Garrett Hedlund looks good on a motorcycle. I griped the first time around: "Please Warner Bros, do not cast Sam Flynn in this. Anyone but Hedlund!" But it looks like they didn't listen. I just don't think he's a good fit for this, and won't be able to give a performance with as much depth and nuance as this really needs. As long as they cast someone very talented opposite him as Tetsuo (the more complex character), then there might still be hope that this could turn out okay. Maybe?