Keanu Reeves Latest Candidate for Warner Bros' Live-Action 'Akira'

May 6, 2011
Source: Vulture, THR

Keanu Reeves

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.

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  • Armeetapus16
    I've yet to hear anything good about this movie
  • Xerxexx
    My hopes are dwindling...they are kids in Akira! not adults! Keanu should play a scientist not a member of the gang...perhaps he can play the Bartender?
  • Anon
    damn are you sure he is 46? he doesnt look a day over 25.
  • Dan W
    The bartender idea isn't bad. I also agree that they need to keep the actors young for Kaneda and Tetsuo. This isn't turning out well
  • tms
    all these potential actors, including Reeves, are not a good match for this - too old, or too twilight for me - it's already bad enough that Kaneda won't be asian to begin with, he's supposed to be 17! we need someone that looks normal but can be bad*ss - Paul Dano? Zac Efron?... Jay Chou would be awesome. They need to find someone that will make a Kaneda like Heath Ledger made the joker...
    • Xerxexx
      Anton Yelchin for Tetuso!
  • happy camper
    maybe Keanu 20 years go... this movie is gonna make me puke!
  • Doyouknowmejack
    It's Keanu going to play Spike spigel of Cowboy bebop?!!? Noooo please don't let him ruin Anime live action movies....
  • LEE
    Better... Keanu is half Asian but he's too old.
    • Anonymous
      He's also a robot.
      • Xerxexx
        He was excellent in A Scanner Darkly.
        • Maxx
          Plus the performance of Downey Jr is Scanner Darkly...those two should work together more often.
  • Terry the Saint
    I don't mind if they use a older cast as long as its not some young talent with a pretty face but can't act.
  • Yo_MaMA
    stop white washing this film. first live action is a bad idea... second...they are japanese and young. stop white washing this film!!!!!!!!
    • Xerxexx
      Its an American adaptation. If it was an American cartoon show adapted in Japan it would be a Japanese cast.
      • urface
        there is no reason to do an adaptation. the original is fine the way it is. either way you need to honor the source material
        • Gill
          The best possible way of doing a faithful adaptation of the original Manga would be to make this movie entirely CGI with the original character design. That way, it would not matter if the setting was Tokyo so that the movie could keep it's post-war symbolism. Much like The Goon, there is no way an American audience is ready for an R-rated animated movie. Now saying this, different adaptations are inevitable. This is Hollywood, movies are a business. By the way, read the original script Gary Whitta had written for this adaptation, it was very close to the original source material.
          • Xerxexx
            I can't wait for The Goon those people not ready ruin everything.
          • Maxx
            I would love to see it set in the style of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
        • Xerxexx
          I agree the original film is fantastic, and a live action is gonna fail no matter what in the eyes of the fans.
  • Yankeesjeter5425
    They should get the kid from Percy Jackson for Kaneda.
    • Xerxexx
      Lerman has fastly become a mediocre actor.
  • Anonymous
    If he is cast it'll be the only reason I'd go see it...
  • Gill
    They should get Jamie Bell as Kaneda, he is a fantastic actor and is an up and coming star.
  • Chris A.
    • esophus
      lmao...I'm learning not to take art so seriously. It's not worth it. I'm not to keen on this idea either, but we might be surprised.
  • Lindsey Strauss
    The Hughes brothers (Albert and Allen) are partly Armenian. A lot of people don't know that.
  • IceFilm
    Oh, boy... Next they'll announce M. Night Shyamalala-ding-dong is directing. I ain't wasting my time this. If I ever want more AKIRA, I'll just go watch the anime...
  • Lando
    epic fail is imminent...neo tokyo or neo manhattan aside, there is no way to make a faithful interpretation of the books in a two hour short! perhaps a two part movie or series would be better. I wont even mention my opinions on casting considerations..sheesh...what a pile..
  • While I love me some Keanu I wouldn't want to make a big budget mainstream movie with him as lead to possibly introduce something anime based to ppl. We want to increase the fan base after all and I personally like Aaron Yoo.
    • Aaron Yoo is perfect for a role. Tetsuo anyone?
  • Raj1
    Whatever WB does with this classic anime, please do NOT use Imageworks for the CGI. They're horrible. They screwed up the first Harry Potter. They did a hack job on the Matrix sequels. Their CGI Superman was atrocious. Enough already! Stop the madness.
    • HalJordan
      Yea, tell me about it. Look at what they're doing to Green Lantern.
  • Keanu? Come on?! What happened to Cowboy Bebop? Anyhow Akira needs teens, asian teens.
  • Pinoy9
    No white-washing, please. FULL-BLOODED ASIAN-AMERICAN ACTORS! EVEN SOME NEW FACES! Geez, Hollywood is so racist.




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