A Vancouver casting call for extras has divulged some of the ways the Americanized, live-action Akira will differ from the original Japanese manga and anime source material. What's new? Kaneda owns a bar, Tetsuo's his brother, and, oh yeah, the role of the Colonel is apparently going to Ken Watanabe.

From Acting Auditions:

Kaneda (Garret Hedlund) is a bar owner in Neo-Manhattan who is stunned when his brother, Tetsuo, is abducted by government agents led by The Colonel (Ken Watanabe). Desperate to get his brother back, Kaneda agrees to join with Ky Reed (Kristen Stewart) and her underground movement who are intent on revealing to the world what truly happened to New York City thirty years ago when it was destroyed. Kaneda believes their theories to be ludicrous but after finding his brother again, is shocked when he displays telekinetic powers. Ky believes Tetsuo is headed to release a young boy, Akira, who has taken control of Tetsuo's mind. Kaneda clashes with The Colonel's troops on his way to stop Tetsuo from releasing Akira but arrives too late. Akira soon emerges from his prison courtesy of Tetsuo as Kaneda races in to save his brother [before] Akira once again destroys Manhattan island, as he did thirty years ago.


This synopsis may be worth taking with a grain of salt, as the casting call confirms Helena Bonham Carter as Lady Miyako and claims that Kristen Stewart's locked in for Ky. These roles may very well change, but Kaneda the whistling barkeep and his inexplicably Japanese-named Caucasian brother Tetsuo sound like plausible rejiggerings. I will say this: the minute they axe the milk-vomiting teddy bear, I'm climbing up the barricades.

Via Anime News Network — thanks Allen Richards!