You heard the man! Earlier today NYC’s Mayor Bloomberg instructed those who are living in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy to “just stay hunkered in to your home and have a sandwich out of the fridge and sit back and watch television.” Seeing as how you are probably about to watch yet another movie during your Hurricane Sandy free day, we thought we’d offer some film selections that will make today’s rainy, wind-swept citywide freeze seem more manageable by comparison. Hey…at least Sandy’s not a zombie hurricane, right? Right.
In case you were wondering what blockbuster sci-fi franchise could possible follow on the heels of the upcoming Hunger Games, might we remind you about how huge that planned life-action Akira movie is going to be? At least if Kristen Stewart signs on, that is. Deadline reports that the Breaking Dawn star is currently in “advanced” talks for the film’s female lead Kei. If she accepts the role KStew would be joining On the Road co-star Garrett Hedlund, who snagged the role of Kaneda, and Gary Oldman as the villainous Colonel. For those not in the know, Akira is based on the graphic novel of the same name, which follows the journey of a gang of teens who must fight for survival in a futuristic dystopia…sound familiar? Sound promisingly familiar?
Akiraaaaaaaaa! Looks like that live-action Akira movie we’ve been hearing about, based on the manga by Japanese author Katsuhiro Otomo, finally got the green light from Warner Bros. So on to the more important question: Who is going to play the head of Akira‘s gang of disgruntled teenager bikers? You know, the one who must eventually try to stop his psychokinetic friend from potentially wreaking havoc on civilization? If you guessed Tron: Legacy‘s Garrett Hedlund for Akira‘s lead actor, you might be right. Rumor has it that the Country Strong star will be soon cast as the film’s protagonist Shotaro Kaneda, which brings us to yet another important question …
Turn that frown upside down, Sad Keanu! 2011 is looking like your year. So soon after announcing Bill And Ted 3 might actually happen, New York Mag is reporting that Keanu Reeves is in talks for Akira lead Kaneda after Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling allegedly passed on the film. Seeing as how Akira‘s whitewashing seemed eminent back in March, it’s reassuring to see an actor with at least some Asian ancestry potentially being cast. Of course, anyone who is familiar with the graphic novel can probably point out the other problem with the rumored casting choices: the Akira leads are supposed to be in high school, not old enough to pick up their teenage kids from high school in their Ford Windstars.
But don’t you lose that grin just yet, Reeves! Apparently Warner Bros. plans on dropping $230 million on the project, which would likely make it one of the top ten most expensive films ever made, so they will almost certainly cast someone with Keanu’s international appeal. A huge sci-fi adventure flick staring Keanu Reeves makes us feel like it’s 1999 again. Just makes you want to say: whoa.
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]