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Warner Bros. Starts Search for Akira's Leading Men

| 22 Mar 2011 11:39
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Magento and Professor X could have parts in the Akira movie, but then again, so could Captain Kirk and Spider-Man.

The Akira movie is inching closer and closer to actually getting made. Following a rewrite from Oscar nominated screenwriter Steve Kloves, who also worked on the Harry Potter movies, Warner Bros. has sent the script out to a shortlist of actors, with the hope of finding the film's leading men among them.

The script apparently has two main parts: Kaneda and Tetsuo. In the original comic and animated versions, the two are members of a teenaged motorcycle gang on the streets of Neo Tokyo. They get embroiled in a decades old conspiracy after an accident activates Tetsuo's dormant - and immensely powerful - psychic abilities. The live-action version has gone through a few changes however, most notably transposing the action from Tokyo to New York. By the look of Warner's shortlist, it seemslike the studio is ditching the "teenaged" part as well, and making the characters much older.

Obviously none of these names have been confirmed yet, but it's thought that the movie's stars are somewhere on this list. For the part of Tetsuo - who is likely to be the movie's antagonist - Warner is looking at Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield and James McAvoy. Pattinson is best known for his appearances in the Twilight movies, Garfield is the new Spider-Man, and McAvoy will play a young Professor X later this year in X-Men: First Class.

For the role of Kaneda, the movie's hero, Warner wants Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake, or Joaquin Phoenix. Hedlund most recently appeared as Sam in Tron: Legacy, and Fassbender will star opposite McAvoy as Magneto in First Class. Chris Pine was the young James Kirk in the new Star Trek, Justin Timberlake was recently in the Oscar-winning movie The Social Network along with Garfield, and Phoenix appeared as the villainous Emperor Commodus in the movie Gladiator.

Warner Bros. plans to make two Akira movies, with each focusing on three volumes of the original comic. Presumably, the character names will get some tweaking before the films are released to make them fit a little better with the new American setting. The project is said to be a high priority for the Warner, and the first movie is scheduled to hit the big screen in 2013.

Source: Deadline

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