Whom do you get to play a teenage delinquent from the future? 46-year-old Keanu Reeves of course.
Warner Bros. Pictures has been having great difficulty recently casting the lead roles in its two-film PG-13 live-action adaptation of the manga and anime sci-fi classic “Akira” which is rumoured to be budgeted in the $230 million range.
Now both Vulture and Heat Vision report that Reeves is in early talks for the role of motorcycle gang leader Kaneda in the film, following on from Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling who were both offered the film and passed. No offer as such is out to Reeves yet, but talks “have been going well”.
The hiring of Reeves not only gives the project a bankable star but will likely entice another major actor for the role of best friend Tetsuo. The likes of James Franco, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Andrew Garfield, James McAvoy, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake, Robert Pattinson and Michael Fassbender were all previously shortlisted for the two roles.
Albert Hughes directs the film which shifts the action from Neo-Tokyo to New Manhattan and follows Kaneda’s attempts to save Tetsuo from a medical experiment that threatens to unleash destructive powers.
Andrew Lazar, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran are producing.