‘Akira’ and ‘Die Hard 5′ Casting Shortlist Roundup [Updated]

Published 3 years ago by , Updated August 2nd, 2013 at 9:37 am,

akira die hard 5 casting Akira and Die Hard 5 Casting Shortlist Roundup [Updated]

It’s a good time to be a youthful up-and-coming actor in Hollywood. Readings for several high-profile tentpole projects – in need of young stars – will be held over the upcoming week(s), including ones for: Warner Bros.’ (heavily-criticized) Americanized adaptation of the cult anime/manga, Akira, and 20th Century Fox’s latest installment in the Die Hard franchise, A Good Day to Die Hard.

Bruce Willis is set to reprise his iconic role as John McClane in the fifth Die Hard, but the search is ongoing for a fitting candidate to portray the maverick cop’s biological son. Meanwhile, Garrett Hedlund looks all but set to portray the biker gang leader Kaneda in Akira; the other pivotal male lead role in the film, however, has yet to be filled.

THR says that there are three frontrunners to play John McClane Jr. in A Good Day to Die Hard – namely, Ben Foster (The Mechanic), Emmy-winner Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad), and Liam Hemsworth (Knowing). Inside word is that the part is Hemsworth’s to lose… which means the fifth Die Hard could mark a Willis/Hemsworth reunion of sorts, seeing how the two are already costarring in next year’s The Expendables 2.

Tetsuo – Kaneda’s younger brother, who develops uncontrollably destructive telepathic abilities – is the next big bit of Akira casting to be complete. Early contenders for the part include Alden Eherenreich (Tetro) and Ezra Miller; the latter of those two has recently been earning lots of positive buzz for his turn as a troubled teen who goes on a shooting spree in the upcoming indie flick, We Need To Talk About Kevin.

Hemsworth (younger brother of Thor himself, Chris) is definitely a star on the rise, seeing how he’s also playing Gale Hawthorne, in the upcoming Hunger Games movie, and could possibly appear in both an impending film adaptation of Arabian Nights and the sci-fi/romance, Timeless. It’s partially for that reason that, should Hemsworth sign on to play McClane’s son in the fifth Die Hard flick, that will do nothing to quell rumors about the film possibly featuring a “passing the torch” storyline.

As for Akira: Miller seems the obvious (better) choice to play the younger sibling of Hedlund’s (potential) character, based on the early reception for his work in We Need To Talk About Kevin. All the same, that would also mean Miller is being typecast as “the troubled teen” right now, seeing how he’s also playing a similar youthful (albeit, non-violent) outcast in the upcoming The Perks of Being a Wallflower film adaptation. That’s not, per se, a bad thing, though, seeing how Miller has made a good impression so far…

UPDATE: Miller had the following to offer Moviefone, with regards to him starring in Akira:

“It’s not true. That, I can assure you, will not be a reality… ['Akira' is] a beautiful Japanese epic and I think [the new version will] be a very entertaining, fun film, but no, it’s not my next move.”


Look to hear more updates on the casting for both A Good Day to Die Hard and Akira in the near future.

Source: THR

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  1. Why can’t they just cast Japanese people for Akira? I mean, it only seems appropriate, no?

    • who cares dude its being set in america so they are going to white wash everything i mean i love the anime but if theyre going to do it i think miller is the logical choice but im pretty sure tetsuo and kaneda were orphans at the same orphanage and not siblings just friends with a competitive rivalry

      • It may turn out to be incorrect, but early word seems to indicate that Kaneda and Tetsuo are going to be actual brothers in this new version of Akira.

      • Just to let you know, there are Americans who aren’t white. And some of them even act.

        • And some of them even have Asian roots.

      • Yeah, where the hell is this “sibling” thing coming from? Have they changed the bloodline of the characters for this movie too?

      • so what its set in America u telling us to be American u got to be white last time i remember their are different races of people in America.

    • So, that means that Asian-Americans can’t play characters named Tetsuo, Kaneda and Kei?

      • very silly u saying Asian-American are not Americans

        • Touche!

        • I’m sure he means Americans of Asian decent. Just as I am an American of African decent, and white Americans are Americans of European decent.

  2. i like aaron paul for mcclain’s son… but id rather it be me!!! Die hard!!!!

    • I agree…with your Aaron Paul statement, no offense but I don’t know you.

  3. “Passing the torch” Jesse pinkman in air ducts “it’s hard to breathe in here alright bro!?”

  4. Why are people complaining. The story is going to shed some light here in North America. Give the new actors a chance. Who cares if they aren’t Japanese. Yeah too bad it can’t be so faithful to the original, but you gotta expect that from an American adaptation. If you don’t like it, go film it yourself.

    • People are complaining because Hollywood’s casting practices are racist. It’s not as if white actors (even complete unknowns and first-time white actors) don’t get plenty, plenty, plenty of opportunities.

      • I’m not saying other races don’t have fantastic actors, but the large majority of A-list stars are british or american and you can’t say there bad at what they do so I don’t see why your complaining. people are trying to make the best movie possible so your gonna hire the people who have proven they can act not a no name

        • Excuse me? There are plenty of good Asian actors who simply do not get leading gigs in Hollywood, *because* they’re Asian.

  5. I didn’t actually say anything about Hedlund being typecast. As for Miller: my (what I thought was clear) point is that since he’s been doing well in a certain type of role so far, it’s perhaps fitting that he be considered for similar parts.

  6. It has nothing to do with the actors being Japanese, it is because the film is not in Japan. Akria being set in New York loses out on an entire cultural level that no matter what, an American version can not capture, even if it does reference the world trade center etc. It’s not the same thing. The anime is amazing, why do we even need a live action version? Why is that film is the end all beat all of artistic expression?

    • The manga was amazing too, why did we need an anime version of it?

      • Toche to that hehehe

  7. @ anita/jenny:

    1) I can see that you two are either the same person or are using the same computer.
    2) If you have nothing to contribute but insults for other commenters, then please just go visit another website. We don’t allow that sort of thing here.

    • We’re not horrible. We just hate seeing something turned into something it shouldn’t with the newest “actor” of the moment. The casting is not only discriminating because of race but also age. These actors should be at least ten years younger!

      I see no reason why the members of the “Capsules” (Kaneda’s bike gang) cannot be a group of Asian Americans. Seeing as this is going ahead anyway, I don’t have a problem with the “Colonel”, army, scientists teachers and politicians being any other race/creed etc..

      • Motoko, so are you trying to typecast asian american actors as gang members? Frankly I’m tired of seeing young asian actors typecast in America is gang members and martial artists. That is so lame.

        The US version of Akira is going to take an American spin on the story. Perhaps, the entire story might be different. Perhaps there was never WWIII in this new movie version. We don’t know. Maybe Gerret Hedlund’s character won’t even be named Kaneda. Perhaps, the biker gang that Gerret Hedlund’s character is part of is predominantly asian and the american actors in that gang have been given Japanese gang names? Who knows.

        • what about young white actors typecast in American biker gang members thats a stereotype it self. oh wait Garrett Hedlund been type casted already lol

  8. Chris and Liam Hemsworth are both becoming big stars in Hollywood, must suck for the other brother, who also is an actor.

  9. Liam Hemsworth looks like the son of John McClane. I’d believe him more than the other actors on that short list.

  10. LET. THIS. DIE.

    Every time I hear more about the Akira movie it gets worse. I am boycotting this bastardization of such a great story as Akira just for them to make money. I encourage everyone else to do the same.

    Whoever complains about those of us that don’t like the fact it takes place in the U.S. and that the actors aren’t even Japanese or Japanese-American has never read the manga or seen the movie and truly understood them for what they were. The location of the story in Japan and the roles of the characters being Japanese is INTEGRAL to the overall feel and theme for the story.

    • @ Ori:

      You are my hero! I couldn’t have said it any better,and I agree with every single word.

  11. I’d love to see Ben Foster in Die Hard 5. He is a fantastic actor who would add alot to the movie. Plus Liam Hemsworth wasn’t born when the first one came out where John Jr. Is 4 or 5, but he does look like Willis. Aaron Paul is also a great actor who could easily tackle the roll.

  12. YES! Bruce Willis as Akira! It’s magic.

  13. The Akira movie is shaping up to have a great cast and has Katsuhiro Otomo as the executive producer. People complaining its not japanese enough can go cry a river. A good movie is still a good movie no matter how different it is from the source material.

  14. the new movie is set in manhattan if they wanted asians in cast they would of left it in japan simple as that

    this is a remake for the western audiences

    no different than the departed

  15. wish to see the new actor

  16. i think screen rant is tight

  17. Winner: DarkSouls

  18. I wish this AKIRA movie wasn’t happening, not this way.

    But it is.

  19. The actors for the role of John McClane Jr. are not great but still look at Bruce Willis, he was picked to play John McClane instead of Stallone or Arine and before the first Die Hard movie was released, some critics were saying that he would fail miserbaly as a action hero since he wasn’t huge and pumped up for the role.

    And Willis proven the critics wrong and Die Hard became one of the best action movies ever and a new classic action hero was made plus a famous line.

    So I think I would give a chance to the actor who is picked to play his son.

    I just hope that John McClane Jr. becomes a great character like his father, having the same hurmour, the same charisma and maybe a new famous line and kicks some ass.

    Let’s hope Die Hard 5 will be the best in the series.

  20. This is insanity. Shut up. everyone arguing over this is the problem. based on how much useless debate this movie is causing added with the news about its collapse and reconstruction every few months i think i can honestly say i hope this movie never comes out. ever. i hope whoever pitched the idea loses everything and never gets to work on a movie again and blames all of you.

  21. Both of these movies are a bad idea.

    Die Hard 5: Why bother when Live Free was catered to a PG-13 audience (the first 3 were rated R and made for adults).

    Akira: Simple. Hollywood is still prejudice and can’t translate a foreign movie well (aside from The Departed).

  22. At a glance neither of these interest me. Die Hard 5 ugg. I liked the first one, the rest of them – bleh. Sunday afternoon cable tv if nothing else at all is on.

    Akira – I really got a bad gut reaction to the two young pretty mugs. Im thinking Twilight right off the bat, I cant help it. As for racism it doesnt matter who they hire for the starring roles. To be sure, with this set on American soil having 2 Japanese characters ripping apart the city would attract squeals of racism for putting Japanese people in a destructive light. In the end, the animation was extremely over the top which is what made it really cool. I dont see any live action recreating that sense of bizarre-ness.

  23. Debates can continue on the lack of cultural impact, stereotyping, and racial casting at the end of the day, Akira despite being animation feels like an actual movie itself, that’s what makes it so brilliant. There’s just no demand for a live action adaptation, it’s simply not wanted or needed.

    And we definitely do not need a fifth Die Hard movie. Then again e didn’t need a fourth Pirates film, fourth Indy film, fourth Underwoled movie etc, etc, and you get the picture…

  24. the more i hear about ‘Akira’ and WB ‘bastarization’ of it…….the more I’m dreading everything about the movie BUT there’s that old saying: “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” so I’m going to wait till i hear/see something more concrete..like set photos or a trailer before i decided whether it’s worth my time or not

  25. I like Miller for Tetsuo he looks like he can really pull it off and he has the looks