The already contentious announcement that Jaume Collet-Serra would helm the long-developing Akira remake for Warner Bros. came with the even more controversial news that Tron: Legacy star Garrett Hedlund was the frontrunner to play Kaneda. Fans of the original anime can begin their panic now, as Variety reports that the actor has now entered talks for the film. Contrary to pre-production under Albert Hughes, no other names have been listed as contenders for the part when the Unknown director signed on a couple of weeks ago, but that may be a result of the studio really wanting him to grab the role.
Taking place in New Manhattan, the latest version, scripted by Steve Kloves, follows “the leader of a biker gang who must save his friend, discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments.” Don’t be concerned if that sounds familiar — this is set in New Manhattan! It’ll be totally different, guys. Trust the studio.
Any anxiety on fans’ part over Hedlund’s casting comes from his oft-criticized performance in last year’s Tron sequel. Despite never seeing that film for reasons that don’t need to be given, it might have just been the kind of movie that’s hard to judge a performance on. Seriously: If Jeff Bridges gets some negative critical marks for his work in there, it doesn’t make sense how a young, slightly inexperienced actor is supposed to do well with a shoddy script and newcomer director. I’m not defending him as a choice, either; this is a dumb project, and it would have at least been preferable with someone like Chris Pine in the lead, but no one can say for sure if he’ll actually stink this one up. The jury’s still out on the entire endeavor.
How do you feel about Hedlund possibly leading Akira?
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