Looks like Akira has been ripped out of development purgatory and dropped into production hell. Warner Bros. has reportedly greenlit director Jaume Collet-Serra's remake of the anime classic.
Hollywood has been trying to adapt the atomic-psychedelic Anime Akira for American audiences for years. One of the Hughes Brothers was going to direct the big budget flick at one point. And both Keanu Reeves and James Franco have both been rumored to be starring in it (separately) — even George Takei pleaded with Warner Bros. not to whitewash the feature with all-Caucasian leads.
But all that is behind us now, because Warner Bros. wants to start filming their Akira in early 2012, according to Variety. But wait, there's a catch — Garrett Hedlund is in the lead for the title role of Kaneda. YIKES. Didn't the studios learn their lesson casting this emotionless android in Tron Legacy? Are we really just going to sit around and let this happen to another potentially awesome movie?
Then you have the director Jaume Collet-Serra who made the tiny-budgeted and highly enjoyable Orphan, followed by a movie which heralded some of the worst acting, and action writing, we've ever seen our miserable lives, Unknown. So why this director? Did Hughes bail because of studio pressure to make this movie a particular way? Hence casting the slightly lesser-known name? Are we going to get the American version of Akira (seen above) complete with talking bike? We shudder to think what Katsuhiro Otomo would think of Hedlund running, around being called Kaneda by his gang members. Who are probably Ashton Kutcher, Shia LaBeouf, and Noah Ringer.