Morgan Freeman May Join ‘Akira’ Cast

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 9th, 2013 at 1:07 am,

Fans were more than willing to express their displeasure when the news broke last week that Zac Efron may play the lead in the Hughes Brothers’ live-action, U.S. set adaptation of Akira.

The new casting rumor for Akira should sit better with fans, as it seems that Oscar-winner and all around sophisticated gentleman Morgan Freeman may star in the film as “The Colonel.”

The Colonel (a.k.a Colonel Shikishima in the original Akira) is a hard-edged man whose bulky physical build and military hairdo resembles that of Colonel Quaritch from Avatar – the former is also very much a pragmatic fellow and eschews the corruption of the “New Tokyo” government. He was in charge of the experimental project that inadvertently unleashed the psychic powers of Akira, which led to the outbreak of World War III and a nuclear holocaust, some thirty years before the events of the original film.

While Freeman is not exactly a physically intimidating figure, his involvement in the Hughes Brothers’ Akira would lend the film an air of gravitas it might not otherwise have – especially if Efron signs on to play the lead. Freeman seemed to enjoy himself as an ex-black ops agent in Red and has played active military types onscreen before. Plus, well, it’s Morgan Freeman – do we need to say any more?

The Colonel from Akira Morgan Freeman May Join Akira Cast

Will Freeman play The Colonel (see above) in the new ‘Akira’?

Warner Bros. wants the Hughes Brothers to deliver a PG-13 Akira, which seems virtually impossible, given the highly graphic content of the story and its bizarre, often grotesque visuals. The location will shift from “New Tokyo” to a futuristic version of New York in the live-action Akira adaptation, which also seems like a bad idea, given the strong connection between the subject matter (especially the nuclear/cold war subtext) and the original Japanese setting.

Development on the new Akira is still ongoing and we’re not sure when the project will actually reach theaters, but the early signs seem to point less to a sophisticated adaptation of a much-beloved anime and more a bland Hollywood “interpretation” that lacks the power and depth of the original work.

What do you think? Does the live-action Akira adaptation have potential?

Source: BD Horror News

TAGS: Akira
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  1. Meh.

  2. Morgan Freeman is one of my favorite actors, but even he can’t save this movie. Just like Chow Yun Fat couldn’t save DBE.

  3. Morgan Freeman’s a bit too old for this role. Hand that off to Terry Crews or Tyrese, hell Ving Rames (spellcheck?) is your best bet. Geez, what is wrong with these people

    • Well being too old is just one of the many reasons he shouldn’t be playing it

  4. From bad to worse. He’s a good actor but they’re choosing the wrong actors and wrong approach. These people don’t know what the hell they’re doing and I am not supporting this.

    • wtfhollywwood, nice handle! You’re right, these people need to actually watch the film. Maybe then they’ll have a real appreciate for it, or maybe they’re too stupid to really get it.

  5. please let the powers that be cancel this before it happens! PLease, this is a nuclear blunder of unheard proportions and it signifies my complete and endless despair regarding Hollywood respecting source material.



    Whoever stops this, i will give you my original CD of the AKIRA soundtrack, I paid almost 40 bucks for the one cd and it took a couple months to arrive. Doll’s Polyphony is a favorite track of mine. A cherished item from my childhood for the dude or dudette that stops this. Any takers?

    • Now I desperately wish I could!

  6. Just give it a new title and change the characters names. The whole mess is blasphemy.

  7. And Sandy, this news doesn’t sit well will me. It’s just as bad if not WORSE than Emohead Zac..I mean whats next? A female Indian actress to play Tetsuo??

    • please god no…. i bet you anything theyre even gonna get rid of the red motorcycle….. somone fed these hollywood douche bags some crazy pills! this just doesnt make sense. with all the great comic adaptations coming out lately youd think theyd get the idea of adapting anime correctly as well. wtf dude its not really hard to do sin city was almost a scene for scene word for word adaptation and it is what made it an instant classic anime is not any differnt the hughes bros must not know how to think for themselves. i mean do you really think any of these people even watched the anime. i mean i can see why they screwed up dbz(which i shouldnt its not that hard of a story to tell) theres so many differnt story lines it can get hard to focus. but AKIRA? its a standalone adaptation of a manga its not even all over the place and they have to screw up the film that bad. and while i like morgan freeman hes not the tough general miltary type. remember dream catcher kids?

  8. Colonel Shikishima does not resemble Avatar’s Colonel Quaritch… rather, Quaritch resembles Shikishima. tsk mf tsk.

  9. It’s so utterly pathetic. The people making these decisions make millions and millions of dollars and they deal with budgets in the hundreds of millions, and filmmaking is their career, Hollywood is their workplace, and yet the “small peons” posting here seem to know more than the studio executives.
    Or perhaps it’s more that us moviegoers actually care more. These execs are so driven by the bean-counters that they’ve seem to lost all common sense, understanding and perspective. All they see is green and not green, nothing in between.
    I like Morgan Freeman, but he just seems wrong for this movie, and as others have said, he can’t save this train wreck of a movie.
    Wouldn’t it be nice to be paid millions and millions of dollars to greenlight bad ideas?

  10. Though I like Morgan Freeman, I agree with everyone here. He is wrong for the part. I would have chosen Lee Ermey as the Colonel from Full Metal jacket.

  11. Morgan Freeman GREAT ACTOR, but not Japanese, maybe if the casting is for blackenese actors. Hughs Brothers are wrong for this movie, maybe Larry and Andy Wachowski (the matrix) or James Cameron who showed interest in it 2-3 years ago before Avatar or upcoming Battle Angel (another Manga Anime). Zac Efron is not bad for the role of Kaneda, but someone might be better. Zac Efron biker gang leader? i don’t see that!

  12. I just gotta laugh there is no reason for Efron to be even considered this. This film, with a PG-13 rating wont even near do the Anime justice.

    Both are totally wrong for this, an American bastardized version of a cult Anime classic is totally WRONG, especially with American actors playing Japanese roles. Pull your head out, man.