Keanu Reeves Latest Candidate for Warner Bros' Live-Action 'Akira'
The casting rumors on this movie just never end! Vulture is reporting that after hearing numerous other younger names ranging from Zac Efron to James Franco, it's now Keanu Reeves who is the frontrunner to star as Kaneda in the upcoming live-action Akira movies, still being directed by Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli). They say the Warner Bros project is apparently pushing a budget upwards of $230 million, which is kinda crazy but honestly necessary to pull off something like this. Apparently that's exactly why they need a big, recognizable actor and why not get the one from the Matrix series, right? I'm not too sure about this.
THR has backed up Vulture on the news, confirming the reports that Reeves is indeed in "talks with the studio" but is still just another name added to an endlessly long list of actors who have been considered, offered, or rumored for the role. Last month we reported that names like Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake, Robert Pattinson and Joaquin Phoenix had been considered, but Vulture adds that others like Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling have already flat out passed. This is quite a conundrum because this is such a fan-oriented adaptation and the fans really want to make sure this is perfect. Reeves is currently shooting a samurai film called 47 Ronin, so he may be primed for this kind of movie anyway. He has not accepted and this is only just talk for now, so don't take this as solid casting yet.
I'm sure there's going to be a lot of opinions about Reeves' involvement with this and whether he's right or not, and I think that feedback is necessary, as I would hope they wouldn't be foolish enough to cast someone that no one likes. Reeves is 46 years old and is in the running for the part of Kaneda, a "biker gang leader" who tries to save his best friend from a medical experiment that threatens to unleash destructive powers. As already know, this adaptation, being polished by Harry Potter series writer Steve Kloves, takes place in New Manhattan this time. We'll let you know if Reeves gets the role or not and will continue to keep you updated.