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

by
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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Reader Feedback - 35 Comments

1

I've yet to hear anything good about this movie

Armeetapus16 on May 6, 2011

2

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?

Xerxexx on May 6, 2011

3

damn are you sure he is 46? he doesnt look a day over 25.

Anon on May 6, 2011

4

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

Dan W on May 6, 2011

5

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...

tms on May 6, 2011

6

Anton Yelchin for Tetuso!

Xerxexx on May 6, 2011

7

maybe Keanu 20 years go... this movie is gonna make me puke!

happy camper on May 6, 2011

8

It's Keanu going to play Spike spigel of Cowboy bebop?!!? Noooo please don't let him ruin Anime live action movies....

Doyouknowmejack on May 6, 2011

9

Better... Keanu is half Asian but he's too old.

LEE on May 6, 2011

10

He's also a robot.

Anonymous on May 7, 2011

11

He was excellent in A Scanner Darkly.

Xerxexx on May 7, 2011

12

Plus the performance of Downey Jr is Scanner Darkly...those two should work together more often.

Maxx on May 9, 2011

13

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.

Terry the Saint on May 7, 2011

14

stop white washing this film. first live action is a bad idea... second...they are japanese and young. stop white washing this film!!!!!!!!

Yo_MaMA on May 7, 2011

15

Its an American adaptation. If it was an American cartoon show adapted in Japan it would be a Japanese cast.

Xerxexx on May 7, 2011

16

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

urface on May 7, 2011

17

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.

Gill on May 7, 2011

18

I can't wait for The Goon those people not ready ruin everything.

Xerxexx on May 7, 2011

19

I would love to see it set in the style of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

Maxx on May 9, 2011

20

I agree the original film is fantastic, and a live action is gonna fail no matter what in the eyes of the fans.

Xerxexx on May 7, 2011

21

They should get the kid from Percy Jackson for Kaneda.

Yankeesjeter5425 on May 7, 2011

22

Lerman has fastly become a mediocre actor.

Xerxexx on May 7, 2011

23

If he is cast it'll be the only reason I'd go see it...

Anonymous on May 7, 2011

24

They should get Jamie Bell as Kaneda, he is a fantastic actor and is an up and coming star.

Gill on May 7, 2011

25

WHHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY GOD WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!?!?!?!?!

Chris A. on May 7, 2011

26

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.

esophus on May 7, 2011

27

The Hughes brothers (Albert and Allen) are partly Armenian. A lot of people don't know that.

Lindsey Strauss on May 7, 2011

28

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...

IceFilm on May 7, 2011

29

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..

Lando on May 7, 2011

30

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.

Barbara Ruiz on May 8, 2011

31

Aaron Yoo is perfect for a role. Tetsuo anyone?

Johnny Neat on May 9, 2011

32

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.

Raj1 on May 9, 2011

33

Yea, tell me about it. Look at what they're doing to Green Lantern.

HalJordan on May 9, 2011

34

Keanu? Come on?! What happened to Cowboy Bebop? Anyhow Akira needs teens, asian teens.

Johnny Neat on May 9, 2011

35

No white-washing, please. FULL-BLOODED ASIAN-AMERICAN ACTORS! EVEN SOME NEW FACES! Geez, Hollywood is so racist.

Pinoy9 on May 12, 2011

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