Akira Searches For A-List Leads, Changes Pretty Much Everything About Akira

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Ah Hollywood: you give with one hand, take with the other. Reportedly Warner Bros is looking at Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield or James McAvoy for Akira‘s male lead Tetsuo. For the futuristic sci-fi film’s co-star Kaneda, scripts have been sent to Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake and Joaquin Phoenix. The film is due out in 2013, and will be reportedly split into two parts. Given the amount of sweet biker gang moves and writhing protoplasm in the 1988 animated version of Akira, you’d think this movie would be primed for a mega-success. But since this is Hollywood, you know can’t do something great without messing it up in some profound way.

The most conspicuous theme in the announced casting choices (besides beautiful dudes with a layer of stuble) is the apparent lack of Asian or Asian-American actors in the Akira remake so far, a choice which seems pretty odd considering how extremely Japanese the original story is. The movie is based off a Japanese manga first published in 1982, and takes place in a futuristic Neo-Tokyo in 2019. However, it looks like the new version is set in New Manhattan and, despite keeping the Japanese names, doesn’t seem too concerned with actually having Japanese characters. If you recall, similar issues came up around the casting of white actors in The Last Airbender and Prince Of Persia last year. Call us crazy, but we’re pretty sure there are plenty of super hot Asian-Americans actors who are dying for roles like these. No offense, Pattinson; you know we love you in our way.

[Photo: Getty Images]