‘Akira’ Casting Shortlist Reveals New Tetsuo Candidates

Published 3 years ago by

akira tetsuo shortlist Akira Casting Shortlist Reveals New Tetsuo Candidates

Warner Bros. is seemingly anxious to get production going on Akira, a live-action Americanized treatment of the cult anime/manga that is being directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown).

The studio has essentially locked down Garrett Hedlund for one of the lead roles, continues to actively pursue Gary Oldman for an important supporting part, recently offered the female lead role to Kristen Stewart, and is now testing multiple up-and-coming actors for the other male lead role of Tetsuo (though previously-rumored candidate Ezra Miller is not among them).

Heat Vision says that “key screentests” were held over the past weekend and will continue on today, in order to find a suitable thespian to portray Tetsuo. In Akira, the character is a motorcycle gang punk who is captured by a futuristic U.S. government and subjected to experiments that transforms him into (essentially) a biological weapon – one who quickly turns on his “creators” when he realizes his newfound psychokinetic abilities grant him god-like powers of destruction.

Here is the shortlist of actors currently vying for the part of Tetsuo:

  • D.J. Cotrona, star of Detroit 1-8-7 who recently wrapped a potential breakout role as young soldier Flint in G.I. Joe: Retaliation.
  • Paul Dano, who’s best known for his lead roles in indie titles like Little Miss Sunshine and There Will Be Blood. He recently played a bit part as Harrison Ford’s (onscreen) son in Cowboys & Aliens.
  • Alden Ehrenreich, a little-known actor who appeared in Francis Ford Coppola’s last two directorial efforts, Tetro and Twixt.
  • Logan Marshall-Green, a veteran of shows like 24 and Dark Blue, who was most recently onscreen playing “The Mechanic” in Devil. He also has a part in Ridley Scott’s upcoming Prometheus.
  • Toby Kebbell, a supporting player in films like RocknRolla, Prince of Persia, and The Conspirator, who aims to leave an impression with his side roles in this winter’s War Horse and next year’s Wrath of the Titans.
  • Richard Madden, best known for playing Robb Stark on Game of Thrones.
  • Rami Malek, star of The Pacific and a supporting player in next year’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2.
  • Michael Pitt, the Boardwalk Empire lead who was previously better known for his work on artsy fare like Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Dreamers, and Funny Games.
paul dano rami malek akira Akira Casting Shortlist Reveals New Tetsuo Candidates

Paul Dano and Rami Malek are among those testing for 'Akira'

Stars like Pitt and Marshall-Green seem a bit too mature-looking to really suffice in the role of the young (and inexperienced) Tetsuo; likewise, Cotrona, Madden, and Kebbell are arguably a bit too physically-robust in stature to fit the character, who has a much more sinewy and non-intimidating build. Whoever is brought on to handle the role should also be quite capable when it comes to subtly communicating a darker side to the character – one which is fully realized when Tetuso is transformed into the uncontrollable and powerful being he (in some ways) has long yearned to become. Given the choices, then, Dano and Malek both (arguably) seem like the best candidates, in terms of both acting prowess and physical appearance.

It’s important for Warner Bros. to get the casting of Tetsuo “right,” since the Akira remake needs all the positive buzz it can get, given the controversy and anger this project has attracted from fans of (pretty much) all shades. That said: expect to hear an official announcement on the matter in the near future.


We will continue to keep you posted on the status of Akira as more information is released.

Source: THR

TAGS: Akira
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  1. This abomination is so ridiculous that I’m not even getting offended anymore. Katsuhiro Otomo should be ashamed of himself for selling his beloved gift to the world by selling out to Hollywood. The fact that they aren’t even acting like they are looking for Asian actors is so blatantly racist it makes my head spin. This is just another example of white people thinking they are at the center of the universe. They should burn in hell. BOYCOTT AKIRA

    • Really? You’re playing the racist card? lol.

      Come on, if anything the worst Hollywood can be accused of is being a bunch of money grubbing monkeys with not the collective brains to come up with an original idea for a movie between them.

      In this movies defense (well, more an understanding), to do it “right” would have been HUGELY expensive. All Asian cast (that can speak perfect English), filming on location in Japan, etc. So to do this movie on the cheap they are Americanizing it. Even if they did manage to put together an all Asian cast, it would be a bit strange to have an all Japanese biker gang here.

      That’s as far as I will go though because this thing should have been made by the Japanese IN Japan and would be subtitled for us English speakers. Anything else is going to be a travesty.

      • I don’t know where you got your facts dude, but they planned on Americanizing AKIRA from the start. Budget had nothing to do with it. With all the recent devastation in Japan, their economy is begging for a big budget American film to be shot there. Hollywood could have stepped outside the box and actually done this right but once again they had to change it to spoon feed American audiences. The fact that they are still using the names and choosing white actors reveals how self centered hollywood execs are. IT’s not overtly racist but it is covert

      • Honestly, this issue has been argued to death. GET OVER IT!!!

        • Raspberrrrrrrrrry! :P

    • wow, calm down it’s just a movie.
      If you want you can still watch the original, nothing is going to happen to that one.

    • Correction> Hollywood execs should burn in hell not white people

      • I thought so. Had me worried for a bit. ^-^

    • You know what the best part is…

      If you put pretty much any of the actors they are thinking of casting for Tetsuo in google, the word “gay” pops up after every one.

      I think that would be a sign that this movie is moving in the wrong direction…

      Let the boycott commence!

  2. The guy from There Will Be Blood??

    Inspired choice, if they go with it.

    • i agree

  3. I a sure if this movie flops in the theatres, Studios will still make anime adaption we love and make them look like pieces of crap. The creators of these anime don’t care because there probably getting a boat load of money for rights. I hate these A**HOLES for f**king one of my favorite anime movies. I surprised that more Asian people are not pissed about this like I am. If it helps Studio Execs, call this film something else and not “AKIRA”, change the names of all the characters to American names, and most of all change the storyline because that something I know you’ll do to make it less original. Fok Yu Warner Brothers!!!

  4. This is a terrible idea. It’ll be their year’s “The Last Airbender”.

    • Or Dragon Ball. *shudder* I’m really not sure how they think this won’t flop.

      • Or even Tekken & The King of Fighters movies……let’s face it Hollywood is no good at taking Japanese stories & converting them properly. Do they care? s*** no otherwise they wouldn’t even consider taking one of the highest estemed animes of all time & Bastardise it for the sake of making a quick buck. Hell they’re even trying to adapt Cowboy Bebop into a live action movie COWBOY BEBOP!! now what does that tell you?

  5. Oddly enough Dano would be a decent choice(actually horrible but I won’t delve into the whole white wash Hollywood agenda!) he plays a really good innocent naive character that slowly become crazy as hell and demented! Just watch there will be blood and you can see that type of transformation. It’s a risky move making this movie but hey, I’ll see it.

  6. Enough talk. Just BOYCOTT this flop.

  7. I’ll be encouraging everyone I know NOT to see this movie. Witness the wonders of social media Hollywood!
    -To those of you saying It’s just a movie, maybe to you it is, to me it’s been a monolith in my life. This movie being made this way is insulting.

  8. Give this movie a chance. It might be good. Esp with Paul Dano. If he gets it

  9. Not confident that the lack luster writitng that I have seen come out of Hollywood will come close to how good the original was.

  10. So if every fan of the original work is against this film, who does that leave for your audience?

    (This can be directed at this atrocious movie choice and the Evil Dead remake.)

    • The people who perhaps have never heard of it. Or people who steer clear of Anime or Manga on any form. I guess it will be fresh to many people, but that kinda defeats the object of pedaling a film on the name.

  11. Actually, the role of Tetsuo will be played by Keir Gilchrist.

  12. Hear that? That psssss sound? that’s the studio releaving itself on the beloved AKIRA.

  13. How about hollywood reveals it’s going to screw up Akira.
    Hollywood comes to they’re senses & leave well enough alone.
    Why is hollywood wasting money on making akira when they know anime fans already dislike the idea, when they could be remaking movies like
    1. The Lawnmower Man 2
    2. Barb Wire
    3. Battlefield Earth
    4. Showgirls
    Instead of wasting time & money on butchering anime there’s a pile of hollywood nightmares that can be redone.

  14. Dano could work. I just hope the film is done well, not matter who they have playing the roles.

  15. The only way I’d be willing to see it is if they only use “Akira” as inspiration, In the same vein as “Twelve Monkeys” or the “Magnificent Seven.” It would then become a true homage to the original. Otherwise it blows for blatantly trading on the originals name without keeping true to the stories origins.

    You know if they wanted a rockin Psi movie they should’ve approached J.M.S. and asked him to write something that would remind people of “Akira”, rather than try to remold “Akira”…

  16. But I thought we loved to see White faces in movies? did I misjudge the audience?

    • Sure. I’m sure Shaka Zulu will be Oscar material when they remake that with an all-white cast. And how about Enter the Dragon? Keanu Reeves is waiting to put those martial art skills to the test one last time. And Brad Pitt is just waiting for that Seven Samurai remake. [/sarcasm]

  17. I honestly don’t really care about the race of the characters because in all honesty if you read the graphic novel nearly all the characters (Eccept for Akira)are illustrated with Caucasian features even though they live in Japan. So whatever as far as that is concerned…

    But here is my problem… Firstly the budget is awful, I have no faith in the director, and I don’t think the actors so far have that much acting skill. And on top of that I honestly don’t really think I want to see Tetsuo mutate into a giant blob of organs in high definition CG… I mean how are you going to portray that one? And also all the choices for Tetsuo suck thus far and half of them I haven’t heard of, probably because they are up in coming and thus cheaper to hire. That being said I think I will just stick to the graphic novel and pass on this one…