The road from page to screen has been a bumpy one for the live-action Akira adaptation but things are looking up as the anime hit gets the greenlight with a new budget, a new director, and possibly a new leading man.
Akira has undergone a few transformations, with the director of Unknown, Jaume Collet-Serra, taking the helm after Albert Hughes left because of “creative differences,” and the over $100 million budget getting trimmed down to $90 million. Now, with the budget and director firmly in place and the greenlight shining brightly on the project, Variety brings word that the hunt for one of the two main characters is underway.
While no offers have been put on the table at this time, sources say that Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy) is a front-runner and that an offer would be made soon. There’s no word at this time on whether Hedlund is being considered for the part of biker gang leader Kaneda or Tetsuo, the friend who finds himself the unwilling participant in a government experiment.
Akira is being produced by Appian Way’s Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Davisson Killoran, and Mad Chance’s Andrew Lazar. Katsuhiro Otomo, who wrote and directed the 1988 Japanese anime pic of the same name, will executive produce.