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Akira already cast?

02.21.2008

News that Warner Bros. is planning back-to-back AKIRA films just broke yesterday and already today we have word on who might be starring in the film. Ain't It Cool is reporting that Leonardo DiCaprio and Joseph Gordon-Levitt will star in the film as Kaneda and Tetsuo respectively. If true (and AICN says they had this scoop last week some time) it's pretty impressive casting for a first-time director. Just yesterday it was announced that Ruairi Robinson would make his feature directorial debut on two AKIRA films based on the manga series. My biggest worry in a live-action AKIRA film was always the casting of Tetsuo. It's such a tough role for a young actor and I wasn't sure there were many young actors who could pull it off. But Gordon-Levitt is one guy who I really think can make it work and playing off DiCaprio should be something special to watch. Of course one of the biggest stars of the film will be the extensive CGI, which will be needed to create a post-apocalyptic Manhattan and especially Tetsuo's denouement. I'm actually hoping that Warner Bros. is able to get Robinson, DiCaprio and Gordon-Levitt to make an appearance at Comic-Con this year to kick this sucker off propa like... DiCaprio is currently filming SHUTTER ISLAND for Martin Scorsese while Gordon-Levitt works on GI JOE for Paramount.

Extra Tidbit: The actor who voiced Tetsuo in the American version of AKIRA is also the voice of Leisure Suit Larry.
Source: Ain't It Cool

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2:11AM on 02/23/2008

Ya know...

If they can take batman and make anime out of him for the upcoming dark knight prequels, then I say americans can take a crack at some sublime japanese material. The japanese are guilty of ripoffs cinematically too ladies, get your heads out of the schoolgirl skirts. Plus c'mon, dicaprio has come a long way since gilbert grape and titanic. Really, he could pull it off.
If they can take batman and make anime out of him for the upcoming dark knight prequels, then I say americans can take a crack at some sublime japanese material. The japanese are guilty of ripoffs cinematically too ladies, get your heads out of the schoolgirl skirts. Plus c'mon, dicaprio has come a long way since gilbert grape and titanic. Really, he could pull it off.
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9:25PM on 02/21/2008
Hollywood just wont stop destroying NYC...this change of settings is NOT a good idea. It has to be Tokyo...we need japaneses actors...this is NO Akira movie, it might turn out something else entirely.
Hollywood just wont stop destroying NYC...this change of settings is NOT a good idea. It has to be Tokyo...we need japaneses actors...this is NO Akira movie, it might turn out something else entirely.
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5:11PM on 02/21/2008
I can deal with the mediocre Jhorror and Korean horror being redone...but this shit is blasphemy. Can't believe they're going through with this...I hope it bombs.
I can deal with the mediocre Jhorror and Korean horror being redone...but this shit is blasphemy. Can't believe they're going through with this...I hope it bombs.
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1:55PM on 02/21/2008

Uhm, no...

Leonardo DiCaprio as "Kaneda"...and Gordon-Levitt as "Tetsuo"...

Hmmm, Anglo actors with Japanese names, unless they change the names. Should be interesting...but this sounds just weird.

Why don't they get some upcoming Asian-American actors/actresses and slap on a name person(black, white, Asian, Hispanic actor) to market the film in a smaller but crucial role?

I have a feeling the only thing "Asian" will be the title (and possibly the character names) and the female
Leonardo DiCaprio as "Kaneda"...and Gordon-Levitt as "Tetsuo"...

Hmmm, Anglo actors with Japanese names, unless they change the names. Should be interesting...but this sounds just weird.

Why don't they get some upcoming Asian-American actors/actresses and slap on a name person(black, white, Asian, Hispanic actor) to market the film in a smaller but crucial role?

I have a feeling the only thing "Asian" will be the title (and possibly the character names) and the female leads...

Blasphemy!
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1:08PM on 02/21/2008
i dont know or like the source material, so i hope i dont piss people off that like it, but honestly, at this point of his career, anything that DiCaprio does is great, ever since Gangs of New York, hes been doing great movies, and why would this one be different, even if they changed a bit of the story
so I guess fans of Akira should cheer up, you are more than likely to get an excellent movie, imagine if it was like nicolas cage or something starring in the movie, than youd have to
i dont know or like the source material, so i hope i dont piss people off that like it, but honestly, at this point of his career, anything that DiCaprio does is great, ever since Gangs of New York, hes been doing great movies, and why would this one be different, even if they changed a bit of the story
so I guess fans of Akira should cheer up, you are more than likely to get an excellent movie, imagine if it was like nicolas cage or something starring in the movie, than youd have to worry
its like people who complained that Scorsese was remaxing internal affairs, how can that go wrong
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12:36PM on 02/21/2008
Casshern is an example that a live manga adaptation can work. It has great special effects and the cast was good. The cast was all Japanese and it worked well.....so why can't Akira have a Japanese cast and setting?

Then again i like Constantine and alot was changed in that movie.... i guess il keep an open mind on this.....
Casshern is an example that a live manga adaptation can work. It has great special effects and the cast was good. The cast was all Japanese and it worked well.....so why can't Akira have a Japanese cast and setting?

Then again i like Constantine and alot was changed in that movie.... i guess il keep an open mind on this.....
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12:32PM on 02/21/2008

Cast has me interested

With a cast like this, I am definitely interested. Leo almost always takes worthwhile projects, and it's great to see him (and JGL) branching out like this. I doubt I ever would have heard of this project or been remotely interested in it if Leo and Joseph weren't involved, as I have little interest in Japanese-style comics.

For all those complaining about this not being Japanese, let me ask you a question: how profitable do you think this would be if they kept in Japanese? With a few
With a cast like this, I am definitely interested. Leo almost always takes worthwhile projects, and it's great to see him (and JGL) branching out like this. I doubt I ever would have heard of this project or been remotely interested in it if Leo and Joseph weren't involved, as I have little interest in Japanese-style comics.

For all those complaining about this not being Japanese, let me ask you a question: how profitable do you think this would be if they kept in Japanese? With a few exceptions, Americans have shown little interest in foreign language films.
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11:49AM on 02/21/2008

Not bad casting

I'm interested in seeing the film. I don't know why they're changing the setting but whatever - it could still work out just fine.

I don't know why there's a bunch of random praise for Casshern in the comments here though. A) this isn't news about Casshern and B) I personally thought Casshern was a terrible movie that had nothing going for it other than visuals.
I'm interested in seeing the film. I don't know why they're changing the setting but whatever - it could still work out just fine.

I don't know why there's a bunch of random praise for Casshern in the comments here though. A) this isn't news about Casshern and B) I personally thought Casshern was a terrible movie that had nothing going for it other than visuals.
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10:57AM on 02/21/2008
The whole film bothers me, Casshern was sublime and one of the better manga live action movies but this just won't do....it won't do at all. I really hope it gets canned, too bad it won't though :(
The whole film bothers me, Casshern was sublime and one of the better manga live action movies but this just won't do....it won't do at all. I really hope it gets canned, too bad it won't though :(
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9:43AM on 02/21/2008
Im with porkchopexpress and tylerj on this, there is nothing wrong with keeping it Japanese. Anybody saw the movie Casshern? Im not worried about the CGI, its the change in settings that bothers me.....
Im with porkchopexpress and tylerj on this, there is nothing wrong with keeping it Japanese. Anybody saw the movie Casshern? Im not worried about the CGI, its the change in settings that bothers me.....
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9:28AM on 02/21/2008
DiCaprio and Leavitt are good actors and all, but what's wrong with keeping it Japanese?!?

>:(
DiCaprio and Leavitt are good actors and all, but what's wrong with keeping it Japanese?!?

>:(
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9:22AM on 02/21/2008
Yeah, but they're already changing the setting so I hardly think the character's ages are going to be a problem. I'm depressed :(
Yeah, but they're already changing the setting so I hardly think the character's ages are going to be a problem. I'm depressed :(
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9:04AM on 02/21/2008
aren't Tetsuo and Kaneda supposed to be aroun 13-15?
aren't Tetsuo and Kaneda supposed to be aroun 13-15?
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8:32AM on 02/21/2008

No.......

I'm really let down by this, it's a parallel argument to the outrage on so many remakes at the moment due to lack of original material. I really don't want this to happen but I guess the money machine is already in motion. It's nothing to do with the casting, I'm just sad the film is being made at all. The reason it was an animation to begin with is because it wouldn't work on screen and despite the advancement of CGI this will still look crap replacing post apocalypse Manhattan for post
I'm really let down by this, it's a parallel argument to the outrage on so many remakes at the moment due to lack of original material. I really don't want this to happen but I guess the money machine is already in motion. It's nothing to do with the casting, I'm just sad the film is being made at all. The reason it was an animation to begin with is because it wouldn't work on screen and despite the advancement of CGI this will still look crap replacing post apocalypse Manhattan for post apocalypse Neo-Tokyo. I worry this will open the floodgates to more Manga live action remakes, next up Ghost in the Shell, mark my words. Please tell me I'm not alone in this, I don't think I will ever enjoy Akira quite as much once this has been made
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