Gary Oldman & Helena Bonham Carter Offered ‘Akira’ Roles

Published 2 years ago by , Updated August 3rd, 2013 at 9:23 am,

Based on the collective online response to Warner Bros.’ recent decision to greenlight a live-action reworking of Akira, you’d be forgiven for believing that literally no one on the planet (other than a few studio heads) actually thinks this project is a good idea.

TRON: Legacy‘s leading man Garret Hedlund is – for better or for worse – said to be the top contender to headline the new Akira movie, which will be an Americanized take on the acclaimed Japanese comic book/animated movie created by Katsuhiro Otomo. However, he could potentially be surrounded by some well-respected acting talent.

Twitch has it on good authority that Gary Oldman and Helena Bonham Carter have been offered roles in director Jaume Collet-Serra‘s Akira remake. Oldman is reportedly being eyed for the role of “The Colonel” – a part previously rumored to have been offered to another beloved actor, Morgan Freeman – and Carter is apparently wanted to play a character known as Lady Miyako (in Otomo’s original comic/movie, at least).

Oldman – who’s garnering early Oscar buzz for his role in this winter’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – has never been adverse to appearing in big-budget blockbuster fare. However, while he has starred in good tentpole productions (see: Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies), Oldman has previously admitted he sometimes takes on parts in otherwise lackluster mainstream titles, simply because… well, the pay is good (see: Lost in Space, The Unborn, Red Riding Hood). So even if Oldman does sign on for Akira, it might not be because he thinks the film’s script has potential.

Carter is somewhat similar to Oldman: her filmography as a whole is very strong, save for a handful of big-budget missteps here and there (ex: Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes). However, she has somewhat of a busy schedule right now, seeing how she’s currently appearing in Burton’s Dark Shadows, Mike Newell’s Great Expectations – and is rumored to costar in Tom Hooper’s Les Misérables adaptation next spring – around the same time that Akira is expected to begin production.

With all that said: bringing Oldman and Carter onboard for your film is rarely (if ever) a bad move; it could also be a turn for the Akira remake which won’t simply infuriate fans.

AKIRA movie by Hideyoshi Gary Oldman & Helena Bonham Carter Offered Akira Roles

Here is an official logline for the new Akira:

Set in New Manhattan, the cyberpunk sci-fi epic follows the leader of a biker gang who must save his friend, discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments.

There’s already been much discussions amongst fans of all shades about how Akira‘s storyline is too deeply rooted in Japanese history for an Americanized retooling to work – not to mention, Hedlund’s being rumored to play Kaneda didn’t exactly blow people away… although, his possible involvement went over much better than when Zac Efron was rumored for the part. As mentioned before, this latest casting rumor isn’t likely to turn the tide of anger towards this project, but at least it seems like a step in the right direction.

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

Source: Twitch

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  1. No matter how awesomely talented the actors are, this movie will be a complete disaster. Why they even feel the need for this is is beyond me. Japanese production companies said they would never try to remake this into live-action. Like I’ve said many times before, they should just make a ghost in the shell movie.

    • Ghost in the Shell is too deep for Hollywood.

      • “Too deep” never stopped Hollywood before. Without a conscience, they will just dumb it down and rip its cinematic soul from its body.

        They’re doing a great job of that with Akira.

        • @Hiro

          “rip its cinematic soul from its body” That’s funny because it would be a ghost of its former shell.

  2. An Americanized versions of a Japanese animated movie, with British actors. A whole lot going on with this, hope it doesn’t turn out to be the mess people think it will.

  3. Are we even arguing with anyone anymore or does everyone just agree that this will be horrible?

    So how they gonna explain AKIRA as the name if it’s an Americanized, white-washed version? Shouldn’t they just call it ARCHIE?

    • They should just call it Trash, because that’s what it’s going to be. Or they could just call it Whitewash, but perhaps that’s too obvious a title, even for Hollywood.
      I can’t recall hearing a joke that was also the punchline, but with Hollywood’s mind-numbing, head-shaking version of Akira, I’ve found one.

    • They will make it a nick name, watch.

  4. leave manga the way it is ANIMATED the united states will ruin it if they westernise it.

  5. The Akira casting call sheet can be condensed to one line: Only Whites Need Apply. The Last Airbender casting call text info was basically the same, but more wordy.

    • To be fair, “the Last Airbender” is not anime ane neither was it located in Japan or Asia. It was set on a completely different world.

      • Yeah, that was supposed to be “and”.

      • it was on a different world, but you’d be a fool to think that Avatar: The Last Airbender wasn’t intended to be Asian. It was an Asian alternate world man. You really can’t be serious if you think that Avatar isn’t based on Asian culture.

        • First, don’t call me a fool.

          I have absolutely no doubt that “Avatar” was influenced by Asian countries and customs, but mainly it was just trying to imitate being an anime. It may have been taking cues from Asia, but there it is still not based in China, India, Thailand, Cambodia, Nepal, Japan or anywhere else.

          I’m not gonna defend Hollywood’s lack of Asian characters. I find it unusually lacking in a very disturbing way.. And I’m not gonna defend the casting in “The Last Airbender”. All I was saying was that “Avatar” was NOT set in Asia! Fact! So technically you can’t really berate a bad movie based on an American cartoon based in a fantasy world of being selectively anti Asian.

  6. This all continues to go downhill. Morgan Freeman? Like in Dreamcatcher and other roles he’s played, he takes the role of what should have been a person of power, an official or colonel; big, strong, ruthless. Morgan Freeman is just an American trend. The fact that they thought it was a good idea to consider him in the first place makes me very nervous about this project. And how is this article supposed to be good news? So we got one guy who takes crap roles for big money and a chick who’s spreading herself thin with other shallow American projects. Hedlund? Efron? This is the vibe they’re going to try to go with for the main character? If I can’t get into the characters, I can’t get into the world they’re creating. One of the amazing things about the original Akira was the sense that you were in the middle of this crazy, dark, futuristic metropolis. Movies should be about the deeper emotion you get from it, and to make a remake, it should be about your version of the feelings you get from it, your taking on the mythology, not just getting a budget and fulfilling a logline.

  7. People need to stop getting their panties in a bunch. I am a huge anime fan, and this is one of my favorite movies.

    I have absolutely no qualms with remakes of any kind as long as they are done right! The problem is that remakes traditionally aren’t taken as seriously as the source material, and they tend to lose to much of what made the original special. IE Dragonball.

    But if taken seriously, written well, and having great actors, I think live action can be awesome.

    Also let me tackle the stupid issue of Akira being “to rooted in japanese history”. This is dumb. When I first watched Akira I didn’t know sh*& about Japan or Japanese history, and I left the viewing being like, this is a awesome movie! Why? Because of the concept, the characters, and the story. Most folks are like that.

    So give me a live action, modified Akira, just take it seriously like Nolan did with Batman and write a damn fine script with good actors and it has the potential to be awesome too.

    • Japan’s history has everything to do with “Akira”, and too many other mangas and animes to mention them all ( eg; Evangelion, GITS, Godzilla etc.. )

      The Japanese created these stories because of the destruction that has always been threatened by Earthquakes, tsunami, birth rates and the recovery from the bombing at the end of WW1. Turning into a sprawling business metropolis and technological advancement that is in danger of over expanding itself at the cost of nature.

  8. “Waaaaah!!” That’s all I have to say when I think of the Akira remake.It really is like watching something bad happen in slow motion and there is nothing you can do but wait until the dust settles to see the true extent of the devastation.

  9. Hollywood being racist.

  10. Seriously? I love Morgan Freeman but him as the colonel is asinine. In fact, all the actors being considered proves that Hollywood doesn’t care about the fiction at all. Akira is amalgam of a variety of social issues in JAPAN so why are they Americanizing for Manhattan? None of it will make sense no matter what anyone says. Its a horrible, horrible train wreck waiting to happen. If anyone had any sort of sense, they’d just leave it the hell alone.

  11. I am a fan of the anime, but it baffles me how so many people can be convinced that the movie will be horrible because it is a remake of the original anime. The only things that are destined to be horrible are the ones that have horrible source material.

    Akira is a terrific story with deep themes and therefore has tremendous potential. The true question is not whether or not those involved with the project will be able to take those themes and create a compelling work of art.

    Revisiting old source material has produced both amazing and atrocious results, but if the source material is good (and Akira is certainly a good example) then there is ALWAYS potential.

  12. damnit, I have never seen akira but i lije these actors so it is okay with me. Also Sirius better watch his back or Whats her name is going to K.O. him just like in HP5.

  13. @ kdog This is going to be bad. This is Hollywood remember? All of those deep themes you’re talking about are going to be glossed over.

    • Oh I acknowledge that this could very well go horribly wrong, but I really believe it depends on who is involved. Hollywood has ruined many things, but there are movie makers that get things right. Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about Jaume Collet-Serra’s work. Furthermore, who else is involved with this project? Producers, actors, screenwriters, etc.? As far as I’m concerned, I need to know more about the actual people behind this project before I’m willing to denigrate it. Can anyone give insight into the people behind the project? Just saying “Hollywood” is too vague for my tastes.

    • To be fair, the anime glossed over much of the plot in favour of exciting set pieces. This is why the anime feels a bit disjointed and doesn’t really explain itself. The manga makes perfect sense and is not at all confusing. It also takes place over a far longer period of time and also uses characters that were completely butchered by the anime. (kaori, Joker, Miyako, the Major, Akira etc…)

  14. Flip! done it again…. I meant “the Colonel”!

  15. This nightmare is going to end up like The last Airbender, Dragonball or Streetfighter. The Japanese are really the only ones qualified to pull off these movies without them coming off as cheesy and Americanized.

  16. Wasn’t Hollywood trying to Americanize “Starblazers” also?

  17. The Last Airbender is in a world clearly inspired by Asian culture. They use Chinses chrarcters when writting, the clothes and food and the style of animation the show was drawn in, all inspired. To not even give one of the mojor roles to an Asian actor was a concious decsion. And considering the back lash, its both funny and sad that they are doing it again.

  18. Not interested in a westernized PG version with cliche one liners and crappy cgi.

  19. I feel like this is a complete defiling of an animated classic.

  20. @ motoko You’re absolutely right. It did come off as disjointed. They tried to cram the whole thing into to two hours or so and they still didn’t get everything so to think that an Americanized, live action version of it will be better is a bit too hopeful.

    @ mongoose Exactly. Slapping an American face on a characters who were Asian to begin with is when it started. Airbender was especially disappointing since I loved the cartoon from beginning to end.

    @Sss Couldn’t have put it better if I tried.

  21. My friends and I have said for years that AKIRA should be made live action, but not like this! The industry has managed to shatter another dream of mine.
    -Another one bites the dust…