Despite screaming from fan quarters that was louder than Tetsuo shouts in Katsuhiro Otomo’s beloved anime version, Warner Bros. is ploughing ahead on its plan to make a live-action take on Akira. And now the studio is talking to Keanu Reeves about playing Kaneda.
It’s been a long, hard road for Warners as it tries to get the film going. The script has been through multiple drafts and more than one big name (including James Franco, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Robert Pattinson) has flirted with the idea of playing one of the two lead roles.
But if the executives and director Albert Hughes can convince Reeves to play the motorbike gang leader who tries to help his friend when Tetsuo becomes part of a dangerous experiment that threatens Neo-Tokyo, that might just have a domino effect in convincing other actors to sign on board.
It remains to be seen whether this is a good idea no matter who appears in it, but at least Reeves has a little experience in big action epics. Will he sign on? We’ll find out soon enough, but there’s not even a formal offer on the table just yet. And if he does agree, but the film turns out badly, expect a lot more of this.