Way back in 2011 after the success of Tron: Legacy (2010), Disney announced at D23 that Tron 3 was set to release in 2013. Check out the article we wrote about it way back when. Since then, 2013 has come and gone and Tron 3 never got off the ground.
Akira is the latest title to go down the Hollywood remake poop-chute, and about a week ago it was reported that Garrett Hedlund (TRON: Legacy) was at the top of the list for the role of ‘Kaneda’. While rumors of Hedlund playing the gang leader and sweet motorcycle-owner remain pretty thin, Gamma Squad reports roles have been offered to former Harry Potter co-stars Gary Oldman and Helena Bonham-Carter.
Oldman would play ‘Colonel Shikishima’, the man in charge of tracking down the not-yet cast Tetsuo, and Bonham-Carter would take on the character of ‘Lady Miyako’, “a high priestess and former test subject of a secret government project led by the Colonel,” who as far as I can remember was not originally a part of the Anime film. It’s difficult to say how the new Akira will turn out; the original movie is a cult classic, and it was one of the very first Anime films I ever saw. Suffice it to say, I was too young and new to the genre to get most of it, but from what I remember it’s a very complex, very cool and visually impressive sci-fi story set in future Japan.
How director Jaume Collet-Sera will translate that to an Americanized Hollywood picture remains to be seen, but just having Commissioner Jim Gor…uh, Gary Oldman attached would get me on their side.
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We learned earlier today that the 5th installment in the Die Hard franchise will heavily feature McClane’s son – John McClane Jr. So the next obvious question is: Who merits the right to carry the family name? I loved the casting of Mary Elizabeth Winstead as ‘Lucy McClane’in the 4th movie, can they as well with her brother?
So in my anticipation for this latest addition to Action Cinema’s greatest franchise ever, here are some of my humble suggestions for the casting director…
Born April 10th, 1981: 26 yrs Younger than Willis, 8 years old when the first movie was released.
Pitt, the star of HBO’s Boradwalk Empire has proven there he has the acting chops to be considered for a major film role. And while Boardwalk is a significant departure from his prior roles, many of which wouldn’t scream ‘badass’, you can’t deny the presence and believability HBO has given him in terms of being man enough to be called a McClane. Pitt is the oldest guy on my list, but if it were me, he’d be the first guy I called in for a screen test…
Born September 3rd, 1984: 29 Yrs Younger than Willis, 5 years old when the first movie was released.
Hedlund made a name for himself last year with his role in TRON: Legacy, but he had done his share of action movies before that, including Death Sentence, Troy, and Four Brothers. He’s the right age and has the necessary pedigree to handle the role. Something like this, along with the rumored 3rd TRON movie could turn him into a household name, and that prospect could be attractive to FOX. Plus he seems likable…
Born December 28th, 1987: 32 Yrs Younger than Willis, 2 years old when the first movie was released.
Dekker starred on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles as the boy who would become the man who would lead the human resistance against the machines – John Conner. And while during the first season he seemed an unlikely hero, I thought he really started to come into his own as the show progressed. Since then he’s appeared in 10 projects, including the A Nightmare on Elm Street remake and has 3 more on the way. And while he will probably be the least popular suggestion of mine, I can see potential…
And finally, if he was about 5 years younger I think Logan Marshall-Green would’ve been perfect, but he’s probably just a little old…
I didn’t remember much about the original Tron movie. I remembered Jeff Bridges being in it. I remembered people wearing cool looking light up suits of red and blue, and riding motorcycles and what not. But I just really never understood it as a kid, or rather I didn’t try to.
It appears time for the Akira live action movie to be moving ahead, with SuperHero Hype’s report of the front-runners for the two main characters; Kaneda and Tetsuo. The villain of the story is Tetsuo, a young man with a big chip on his shoulder who begins to manifest immense psychic powers, and then use them with extreme prejudice. This guy was a total psycho in the animated movie and equally so in the graphic novels that movie was based on. He was a part of the same biker gang as his friend and rival of sorts, Kaneda. Kaneda is a bit of a jackass, but he’s a loveable jackass and the closest thing we get to a hero.
That being said let’s have a look at the contenders for the role of Tetsuo. It’s between Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield and James McAvoy. Right off the bat I need to discount McAvoy because he seems a little too old for the role. If they’re following the story of the graphic novel, the two characters are teenagers and McAvoy is about to hit 32 in a month.
Maybe they’re going a different direction with the characters’ ages, but if not I don’t see a 32-year-old guy playing a kid still in a “home for boys”. This leaves Pattinson and Garfield. I think either one of them could pull it off, but it would be more refreshing to see Garfield in the role than having the Twilight star Pattinson thrown in our faces once again. If you can’t tell I’m a little burned out on Twilight.
On the Kaneda side of things we have a few more options. Up for the role are Garret Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake, and Joaquin Phoenix. I’m going to immediately discount Phoenix because of his age, and the fact that his moronic shenanigans over the past two years made me care less and less about him ever being in another movie. Fassbender, like McAvoy, is too old though it would be interesting to see them both in the roles of hero and villain this time in reverse. In case you haven’t heard Fassbender and McAvoy are both in X-men: First Class this year, starring as Magneto and Charles Xavier respectively.
Justin Timberlake: No. That’s all I can say about that one.
The role of Kaneda for me boils down to either Garrett Hedlund or Chris Pine.
They both have experience playing the troublesome, act without thinking young gun type. Pine’s James T. Kirk persona from the excellent Star Trek reboot is almost exactly how Kaneda acts in the Akira animated movie and graphic novel; overconfident, quick thinking and totally unable to impress the girl with his bravado. Garrett Hedlund played the mischievous young motorcyclist in the recent Tron: Legacy, and the light cycle he tore it up on definitely had a likeness to the bike Kaneda rides in Akira.
What other credentials do ya need? I really enjoy both actors and would be happy with either one, but I tend to lean toward Chris Pine on this one. He has the sort of charisma and humor needed to play Kaneda. And he rode a motorcycle in Star Trek and that’s the most important thing… right?
In case you didn’t notice, none of the actors are Asian like their character’s namesakes, but I’m trying to look past that. I’ll be satisfied as long as they yell one and others name as they try to kill each other. (Watch the Akira animated movie for more on that.)
I hope this movie is done right, because being based off of the six graphic novels it’s going to need at least two or three movies to do the story justice. I’d recommend the Akira animated movie and graphic novels to anyone who is a fan of sci-fi or cyber punk stories. The graphic novels are definitely better than the movie, but it’s still quite a ride either way.