Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe to Empire!
Save up to 63%
Halo 5 Guardians
The Master Chief returns
Movie News

Daredevil Debuts A Season 2 Poster
Concept art heads to NYCC
Disney's Moana Finds Its Lead Voice
Aula'i Carvalho will play the young explorer
Lex Luthor Makes The Fortune 500
Jesse Eisenberg's archvillain finds fame
Sony Plans A Danger Mouse Movie
Ooh crikey!
More Movie News

24 September 2015
Steven Soderbergh Plans Mosaic For HBO Films
Sharon Stone starring in a mystery TV experiment
More Movie News

12 October 2015
More Future Films

American Ultra (2015)
Empire Star Rating
Clouds Of Sils Maria (2015)
Empire Star Rating
Child 44 (2015)
Empire Star Rating
Cinderella (2015)
Empire Star Rating
Run All Night (2015)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Ken Watanabe Offered Akira?
In place of Gary Oldman...

23 November 2011  |  Written by James White  |  Source: Twitch

submit to reddit

Ken Watanabe Offered Akira?

Though Warners is likely hoping that the big problems of getting classic anime Akira converted to a live-action version and up on screen are now behind it, the issues bringing the film to life haven’t quite gone away. Despite being offered the role of a colonel in the film recently, it would seem that Gary Oldman hasn’t locked in a deal, so the studio is now kicking off negotiations with Inception’s Ken Watanabe instead.

As of right now, all this must stay strictly in the rumour section as Watanabe is nowhere near a deal and there’s always a chance Oldman could return – or play a different part. And it's typical of the sort of early deal-making (and passing) that happens when a big film such as this is being put together.

But Watanabe is a fine replacement for the part – he’s got recognition factor from the likes of Chris Nolan’s work and The Last Samurai and he’s a proven actor. And he's also Japanese, which makes a pleasant change from the all-caucasian casting policy for the lead roles so far.

Akira follows bike gang leader Kaneda (Garrett Hedlund) as he deals with what happens when his best friend Tetsuo is used in a government experiment to exploit his powerful latent psychic abilities. The result? City-threatening chaos.

So far, Hedlund appears to be the only actor with a solid deal, though Helena Bonham Carter and Kristen Stewart have both been offered roles.

Director Jaume Collet-Serra aims to start shooting in March.

Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

Xavier Gens Enters House Of Horror
Hand-in-hand with producer James Wan
Todd Field Accepts The Creed Of Violence
Update: He's got the funds to make it

Your Comments

At last a small bit of good news on this project!
Finally a right move! Hopefully they will start to cast the rest of the roles to Asian actors rather than your typical run of the mill Hollywood ones. You can't just give someone like Kirsten Stewart a Japanese name! Or even worse - change the characters names all together. Tetsuo to something like - Tim! More

Posted by eddybaby83 at 15:41 on 25 November 2011 | Report This Post

bad idea making a live action version
i love akira, its the type of film that is so unique, that you cant just go and remake it in live action. i imagine it wont be set in a neo japan, nor will it stay true to the original book or film. its a shame hollywood is intent on butchering great films More

Posted by tomfm at 11:21 on 23 November 2011 | Report This Post

Finally, a casting decision I agree with! I think he would be right for the colonel role. And I'm thinking maybe Takeshi Kitano for the Mayor role as well I'm saying this because I still think it should - hang on - MUST be still set in Neo-Tokyo, not 'Neo-Manhattan'. Hollywood, you still have time to change your mind on white-washing this adaptation More

Posted by alsybroth at 09:48 on 23 November 2011 | Report This Post

Watanabe? Yes please! But, not for the Colonel.
I think Oldman is better suited for the Scientist, and Watanabe would be great as Mr. Nezu. And while I'm indulging myself in fantasy casting, Elle Fanning or Chloe Moretz in old person make-up as the female Esper, with Kodi Smit-McPhee as one of the male Espers. ... I could go on and, in my head, I think I will. Cheers! More

Posted by Nicky C at 09:12 on 23 November 2011 | Report This Post

Good Stuff
This is a good choice. Great Choice. Gary O. is great, but for this role I think Ken W. fits better. Also, the more asian actors the better. So kudos. More

Posted by Johnny_A at 09:08 on 23 November 2011 | Report This Post

Denis Villeneuve Talks Sicario
On his cartel thriller and the upcoming Blade Runner sequel

Tomorrowland: The Viewing Guide
Brad Bird talks through his sci-fi adventure, scene by scene

Empire Meets Ridley Scott
The great director on The Martian, Blade Runner 2 and the Prometheus sequels

My Movie Life: Justin Kurzel
The Macbeth director on how Rocky changed his life and the worst ever date movie

Life On Mars: Trips To The Red Planet
A dozen of cinema's Martian misadventures

All Hail Macbeth! The Scottish Play On Film
By the pricking of our thumbs, ten adaptations this way come(s)

10 Star Wars: The Force Awakens Toys You’ll Want To Own
Falcon quad copter? BB-8 Sphero? We’re already asking for pay raises…

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 63%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)