More Akira casting rumours, including Kristen Stewart and Ken Watanabe

Earlier this year, we brought you news of an imminent remake of the classic anime, Akira. There were lots of rumours flying about concerning casting, and a few exciting new names have been added to the mix.

The new rumours mainly concern Gary Oldman and Ken Watanabe (Inception, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Last Samurai), both of whom have been linked to the character of the Colonel. It seems that Gary Oldman was first approached for the part, but is yet to strike a deal. So the makers of the film have moved elsewhere, starting negotiations with Ken Watanabe. While neither outcome is confirmed yet, Watanabe may be the favourite for the part now as die-hard fans of the anime have been up in arms about the casting of non-Asian actors for many roles in the re-make.

Other likely members of the cast include Twilight star Kristen Stewart, who has been offered the role of Ky (or Kei) Reed and Helena Bonham Carter who may be set to play Lady Miyako. However, it seems like the only sure thing at the moment is that Garrett Hedlund (TRON: Legacy, Troy and the upcoming On The Road) will play Kaneda, leader of the biker gang.

The adaptation of the Japanese manga series written by Katsuhiro Otomo has been in the works for a while. It is in the hands of Leonardo DiCaprio’s production team, and will be split into two parts both of which will be directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. The film is set for release in 2013 and current plans start production in early 2012, so let’s hope they have sorted out the casting by then.

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