WB Gives Collet-Serra's 'Akira' the Greenlight, Hedlund Now Top Pick

October 19, 2011
Source: Variety


Are you ready for Garrett Hedlund to ruin another beloved sci-fi classic? Out of nowhere tonight, Variety reports that Warner Bros has given their live-action Akira adaptation the greenlight. But I can no longer call it big budget or an epic re-adaptation, as it's been shrunk down to a modest $90 million budget and presumably only one film, instead of two. At the helm, since Book of Eli's Albert Hughes dropped off earlier this year, is Spaniard Jaume Collet-Serra, director of Orphan and Unknown, both for WB. The project is now aiming to start shooting early next year around February/March. There's a casting tidbit in there, too.

They go on to say that, despite all of the rumors earlier this year (and over the years) about casting, the one name that the "studio" is particularly interested is Garrett Hedlund. Didn't they see Tron Legacy? Word is that Collet-Serra and the studio execs are "keen" on him, but had to wait until this greenlight to sign him. And now "insiders say it's only a matter of time." Now the question is - would he play Kaneda or Tetsuo in this? And who else are they looking at for the other role. While I don't think Hedlund is bad, he just doesn't have the chops to play one of these characters, and I'd prefer someone with more depth for this adaptation.

I know most people don't want to see this Akira movie made at all. Despite all the effort many of you have put in trying to emphasize that this shouldn't be made, Warner Bros is intent on making it. I'm just praying and hoping that Collet-Serra can do a good job, especially with only $90 million. I hope he's got some big ideas. I'm admittedly intrigued to see a live-action Akira, but only under the right circumstances. And while Collet-Serra may be an acceptable choice, please Warner Bros, do not cast Sam Flynn in this. Anyone but Hedlund! I really want Akira to be enjoyable in some way and it won't help if he's starring in it. Thoughts?

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They should have gone with Zac Efron. He is perfect for the movie, I would see.

Tsunayoshi Sawada on Oct 19, 2011


I would actually watch Zac or the cat that played Speed Racer. Their look lends themselves heavily to the anime vibe. That anglo/asian esthetic is what they need,especially since they are setting the whole thing in America. It's all going to be about the look of this picture. Script be damned, if it looks good they will come. Know what I mean SHEEPLE...bahhhhhhhh.

Anonymous on Oct 20, 2011


This film is becoming an urban legend like The Watchmen, but I thought The Watchmen was successful, that being said, Zack Snyder is the only one I would trust with this project.

Anonymous on Oct 20, 2011


Hahahahahahahah. You make me laugh. We have plenty of good asian actors that could fill the role instead of the next teen hearthrob.

Josh Taylor on Oct 20, 2011


No Zac attack please, but Emile Hirsch (Speed Racer, Into the Wild, etc) is a great actor.

Anonymous on Oct 20, 2011


Zac Efron lol  Anyway, FUCK THIS SHIT. Just go buy the blu-ray of Akira. The print is goddamn flawless, and soundtrack sounds amazing in truehd. Plus it comes with this awesomely nerdy book that talks about the whole restotartion process in freakish japanese detail. 

Lebowski on Oct 19, 2011


I never was a fan of Akira, the comics or the anime.  That said, I appreciate it for what it is, and I seriously doubt this movie is going to do the original Japanese adaptations any justice.  The story has a lot of potential to be pulled off well, but it sure as hell aint going to be done this way, on this kind of budget.  That is, unless District 9 director comes in and takes over. Oh, and fuck Kaneda.

Gex on Oct 19, 2011


I don't understand this need for studios to make every single thing live action.  I mean look at what Paramount is doing with Tintin, if anything WB should go that route with Akria. There are just so many comics that deserve the live-action treatment, and Akira isn't one of them.  Garrent Hedlund isn't a bad actor, but he isn't necessarily a good one either, so why WB would want him after he gave such a dreadful performance in Tron: Legacy is beyond me.

Michael Lee on Oct 19, 2011


They choose guys like Hedlund because: a) he's cheap. b) a film like this does not need a huge star. The star is essentially the CGI and amazing visuals. I know that sounds foolish, but that's how these studios think.

GMale on Oct 19, 2011


Pretty much.

Anonymous on Oct 20, 2011


they are properly just want to build him up as a new movie star, so they could replace the old ones.

truong18 on Oct 19, 2011


Hedlund for Kaneda and Anton Yelchin for Tetuso.

Xerxexx on Oct 19, 2011


Nice picks but I would still prefer lesser knowns/up and comers. Hedlund was bad in Tron Legacy but that wasn't a good script at all. It seems a lot of directors out there are great visual directors, but only a handful can direct actors.

Anonymous on Oct 20, 2011


True. Yelchin really isn't that well known eventhough he has turned in multiple fantastic performances, Hedlund however is. If not those two then unknowns would be good.

Xerxexx on Oct 20, 2011


Lol Anton is way higher up on my radar over Hedlund. Of course I'm the wierdo that would put Pavel Checkov over Sam Flynn but hey that's me. Seriously... I remember Anton from Trek, Terminator, Charlie Bartlet and Alpha Dog... Hedlund from Tron and Eragon.

Anonymous on Oct 20, 2011


He is a great actor, but Hedlund is very marketable as the hollywood hunk especially after Tron. I've been amazed at the people that who no idea who Yelchin is...yet they know who Hedlund is...a actor with a low amount of starring roles.

Xerxexx on Oct 22, 2011



Nyapeace on Oct 19, 2011


just don't see it. I love Akira but its happening...just like Dragon Ball happened.

Xerxexx on Oct 19, 2011


Yeah but Dragon Ball maintained a level of quality that was about on par with it's shitty remake.  

Lebowski on Oct 19, 2011


I have some faith in it.

Xerxexx on Oct 20, 2011


Nope... when I saw that pick of Spike (from Buffy) as Piccolo I knew it was rancid. However I will hold judgement until I see set photos, trailers, full cast, synopsis or SOMETHING.

Anonymous on Oct 20, 2011


Orphan and Unknown were solid. But don't forget, this guy made HOUSE OF WAX with Paris Hilton. I can't see this guy being the one to take Akira into live action territory. It needs someone like Neil Blomkamp or Duncan Jones. Someone who lives and breathes science fiction.

GMale on Oct 19, 2011


Fuck Avatar. James Cameron should be directing this.

Tetsuo on Oct 19, 2011


NO. It'll be a lovey-dovey fest between Kaneda and Kei, with Tetsuo becoming a lame villain. Unless he hires the crew from The Abyss... and they keep him in line. Maybe.

Anonymous on Oct 20, 2011


I hate akira. It's just a jumbled mess or confusing crap it's what made me hate anime haven't seen one since I watched Akira 3 years ago.

Ugh on Oct 19, 2011


watch it again when you hit puberty

Anonymous on Oct 19, 2011


^ hahahahahahahahaaa

Tetsuo on Oct 20, 2011


I actually matured watching this movie. Not physically, but mentally. 'Ugh' is probably one of the stubborn masses, that when something is confusing they'll just tune it out. Not being mean, it's just some people can't see past their own way of thinking. It's like teaching someone basic computer skills, and when you do something they're not used to (like 1.5 + 2.5 = 4. instead of 2 +  4) and they grunt and scowl like someone took away their Doritos. BTW the math reference is another way of saying their is more than one way to skin a cat. Or copy and paste if you're still confused.

Anonymous on Oct 20, 2011


So if you hate one bowl of soup you then hate all soup. You my friend have just learned the importance of Tar and brush comments.

Pilgrim_UK on Oct 20, 2011


Not really. Just learned stupid people are still around. I just do not enjoy anime at all any more could be I grew up could be it's not good but you never know.

S21stream on Oct 20, 2011


Well obviously you didn't grow up, given your ignorance of punctuation. You sound barely older than a toddler to me. Maybe *you* "never know", but I *do* know *right now* that 1) Akira is based upon an acclaimed manga series which was later adapted into an acclaimed anime film, 2) sweeping statements instantly reveal ignorance and idiocy, and 3) your comments in these regards are laughably pathetic. Yes, stupid people are still around - and I think I've spotted one.

God on Oct 20, 2011


It is a jumbled mess and confusing as crap. I hate the ending. (won't spoil it) It's also one of the most thought-provoking and no-nonsense films I've ever seen. If not movie. It's one of the Anime that turned me on to Anime (as a medium).

Anonymous on Oct 20, 2011


WB is AWESOME. This will be AWESOME. I know how they'll do it. Same way they've always done it. They'll get the same companies that made Superman Returns, Green Lantern, and Man of Steel on this. Because they got to grease the same monkeys every single time. 

KyleRobinson on Oct 20, 2011


Alex Billington who? The idiot doesn't know who ruined Tron Legacy was Kosinsky and the horrible script. Hey imbecile, go watch Death Sentence and Country Strong before writing crap moron.

jesus on Oct 20, 2011


Hedlund is an awesome and charismatic actor. That's why he's playing Dean Moriaty in the upcoming On The Road. You bloggers are ignornat.

antivirus15 on Oct 20, 2011


You are ignorant too, thinking that a white person should replace an asian actor just for sales. Sad indeed!

Josh Taylor on Oct 20, 2011


You're ignorant for playing the race card when the issue at hand is the actor's ability. Not his fault they changing the character. You're replying to antivirus15's comment. While I agree with you're statement, you're shooting yourself in the foot by posting it in the wrong spot.

Anonymous on Oct 20, 2011


Give them a chance guys,nobody wanted Dictrict 9 with Copley either.

tir na nog on Oct 20, 2011


What? No Asians and a B level director... this is about to fail like no one's business if they can't get quality and common sense in order.

Johnny Neat on Oct 20, 2011


Its simple. its an american adaptation.

Xerxexx on Oct 20, 2011


You can get a great scifi movie for less than $90. Look at District 9. That budget was like 30.

Anonymous on Oct 20, 2011


It's an unnecessary live-action remake of an important anime movie (though not a favorite, apart from the quality animation). The project has been bouncing around for the past 10 years it seems. Besides finding the right cast and crew, the budget has always climbed too high.

Anonymous on Oct 20, 2011

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