Last year, soon after their Denzel Washington apocalyptic film The Book of Eli became a hit, The Hughes Brothers got attached to the live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo‘s Akira. Since then, we’ve learned that only one of the brothers, Albert, will be directing and that Steve Kloves, best-known as the writer of all but one of the Harry Potter films, has been tapped to “polish” the existing draft by Albert Torres (previous drafts are credited to Children of Men co-writers Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, as well as Book of Eli scribe Gary Whitta). There was also rumors of Morgan Freeman, Zac Efron, Brad Pitt and James Franco attached, but now Deadline brings us our first shortlist in time for a August start date by Warner Bros/Legendary Pictures.

Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield and James McAvoy have “been given the script” for the role of Tetsuo. As for Kaneda Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake and Joaquin Phoenix have also been given the script. Any combination of Garfield, Fassbender, and Pine would certainly be welcome as they believe two of the actors above will definitely be nabbing the roles. Deadline also reconfirms Warner Bros’ intention to split the film into two parts, covering the large source material. For those of you who haven’t read/seen Akira yet (including me, I promise it is on the top of my queue), here is a synopsis:

Kaneda is a bike gang leader whose close friend Tetsuo gets involved in a government secret project known as Akira. On his way to save Tetsuo, Kaneda runs into a group of anti-government activists, greedy politicians, irresponsible scientists and a powerful military leader. The confrontation sparks off Tetsuo’s supernatural power leading to bloody death, a coup attempt and the final battle in Tokyo Olympiad where Akira’s secrets were buried 30 years ago.

Who do you think should nab the lead roles? Are you looking forward to a Hughes-directed Akira?

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