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Akira's shortlist of actors include Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield, Michael Fassbender, Joaquin Phoenix, and more

03.22.2011

There was a rumor going around back in November that Zac Efron was up for one of the lead roles in AKIRA, the live-action adaptation of the beloved manga series. Naturally, heads began exploding across the Internet by the mere suggestion. But thankfully, the rumor never came to pass.

Speaking of hyperbole, just last month Vulture was reporting that the project may have become doomed after nearly 50-year-old Brad Pitt passed on the role of teenager Kaneda. Uh-huh.

You need not worry, AKIRA fans. The film is alive and well and ready for an August start date now that the studio and the Hughes Brothers (THE BOOK OF ELI) have received a fresh script rewrite from Steve Kloves (the HARRY POTTER films, WONDER BOYS) that has them all very excited. That script, in fact, has been sent out to the studio's shortlist of actors that are reportedly up for the two lead roles of Tetsuo and Kaneda.

For Tetsuo, the names are Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield, and James McAvoy. For Kaneda, it's Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake, and Joaquin Phoenix.

Deadline says the two leads will come from that group of actors. Sorry, Zac.
Extra Tidbit: Who would your picks be?
Source: Deadline

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4:23PM on 03/24/2011

Fuck Off hollywood!

why is anime so awesome?? cuz its anime. why is Akira so awesome??, cuz its anime/manga.
theres a reason why these stories are told in those formats,u just cudnt pull it off in any other way without messing it up. but if all goes to shit and i actually have to pick a duo i guess it wud ANTON YELCHIN for TETSUO and maybe EMILE HIRSCH for KANEDA and the lovely EMMY ROSSUM for the role of KEI. they mite not be teens anymore but they look young enough for the parts.
why is anime so awesome?? cuz its anime. why is Akira so awesome??, cuz its anime/manga.
theres a reason why these stories are told in those formats,u just cudnt pull it off in any other way without messing it up. but if all goes to shit and i actually have to pick a duo i guess it wud ANTON YELCHIN for TETSUO and maybe EMILE HIRSCH for KANEDA and the lovely EMMY ROSSUM for the role of KEI. they mite not be teens anymore but they look young enough for the parts.
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7:57AM on 03/24/2011
they all seem way too old. at least zac efron could pass for the right age.
they all seem way too old. at least zac efron could pass for the right age.
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10:26AM on 03/23/2011

At this point I'd welcome Zac Efron

This is going to suck worse than anything that has sucked before. That's right, I'm talking Battlefield Earth level of SUCK.

Or at best, it'll be forgettable.

They seriously can't get more young actors in their 20's t least, or one actor with at least a cappuccino complexion?! I can't believe I'm having to ask the latter in a film directed by two African-Americans!
This is going to suck worse than anything that has sucked before. That's right, I'm talking Battlefield Earth level of SUCK.

Or at best, it'll be forgettable.

They seriously can't get more young actors in their 20's t least, or one actor with at least a cappuccino complexion?! I can't believe I'm having to ask the latter in a film directed by two African-Americans!
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9:48AM on 03/23/2011

My two bits

Kaneda- Has to be an actual teen. I would pick Josh Hutcherson from The Kids are All Right.

Tetsuo- I can't really think of anyone but Tetsuo has to be played by a fugly actor. Keep in mind, this was a kid who got picked on all his life. You really think that would be Justin Timberlake? And Joaquin Phoenix? We're talking about teenagers!
Kaneda- Has to be an actual teen. I would pick Josh Hutcherson from The Kids are All Right.

Tetsuo- I can't really think of anyone but Tetsuo has to be played by a fugly actor. Keep in mind, this was a kid who got picked on all his life. You really think that would be Justin Timberlake? And Joaquin Phoenix? We're talking about teenagers!
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4:39AM on 03/23/2011
McAvoy AND Fassbender, really!? They're seriously considering Professor X and Magneto for basically the same roles as the new X-Men movie? This idea is a head scratcher and it's not that I hate all the names on the list (except Pattison) I just don't see any of them as those two characters. I'd go with Anton Yelchin as Tetsuo and Joeseph Gordon Levitt as Kanaeda. I can't wait to see what the Americanized names are going to be.
In a logical world it'd be Rain and Jay Chou cause they're
McAvoy AND Fassbender, really!? They're seriously considering Professor X and Magneto for basically the same roles as the new X-Men movie? This idea is a head scratcher and it's not that I hate all the names on the list (except Pattison) I just don't see any of them as those two characters. I'd go with Anton Yelchin as Tetsuo and Joeseph Gordon Levitt as Kanaeda. I can't wait to see what the Americanized names are going to be.
In a logical world it'd be Rain and Jay Chou cause they're actually asian.
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11:58PM on 03/22/2011

My picks

Well a lot of these choices are stupid. I would pick and this is only if I had to pick american actors Tetsuo-either Ben Foster or no name, for Kaneda I would pick either Emile Hirsch or again a no name.
Well a lot of these choices are stupid. I would pick and this is only if I had to pick american actors Tetsuo-either Ben Foster or no name, for Kaneda I would pick either Emile Hirsch or again a no name.
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9:47PM on 03/22/2011

in the world where this is all a good idea...

chris pine as kaneda and andrew garfield as tetsuo. pine showed he could be the cocky kid to great effect in the star trek reboot (i was surprised how much i dug him as kirk) and i think garfield would simply destroy that role (as he does in everything i've seen him in).
chris pine as kaneda and andrew garfield as tetsuo. pine showed he could be the cocky kid to great effect in the star trek reboot (i was surprised how much i dug him as kirk) and i think garfield would simply destroy that role (as he does in everything i've seen him in).
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11:06PM on 03/22/2011
i do hope they consider a name change, as blasphemous as that sounds. i have never met or heard of white people named either kaneda or tetsuo. if akira is white, i'm going to lose my shit.
i do hope they consider a name change, as blasphemous as that sounds. i have never met or heard of white people named either kaneda or tetsuo. if akira is white, i'm going to lose my shit.
9:37PM on 03/22/2011

Hmm

Either Garfield and Hedlund or McAvoy and Fassbender...together again. I'm still waiting for a trailer before I say good or bad though.
Either Garfield and Hedlund or McAvoy and Fassbender...together again. I'm still waiting for a trailer before I say good or bad though.
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7:46AM on 03/23/2011
dude, if you´re waiting on a trailer, you´ll be waiting a looooooonnnnng time, and hopefully, you´ll never see it.
dude, if you´re waiting on a trailer, you´ll be waiting a looooooonnnnng time, and hopefully, you´ll never see it.
8:00PM on 03/22/2011
@Drumphantom38

I'm with you on that Zac is a better choice than all those actors. Once again Hollywood execs prove they don't know jack or shit about adapting a damn thing that's not original. I see EPIC FAIL all over this one. Apparently they want to alienate the automatic crowd of anime/manga fans and hope they make all their money off of the common public who don't know anything about Akira. DAMN what idiot came up with that list of actors. Seriously, give me a name and email address so I
@Drumphantom38

I'm with you on that Zac is a better choice than all those actors. Once again Hollywood execs prove they don't know jack or shit about adapting a damn thing that's not original. I see EPIC FAIL all over this one. Apparently they want to alienate the automatic crowd of anime/manga fans and hope they make all their money off of the common public who don't know anything about Akira. DAMN what idiot came up with that list of actors. Seriously, give me a name and email address so I can send Charlie Sheen over to his house.
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7:45AM on 03/23/2011
hehehe, that charlie sheen bit was genious mate :P
hehehe, that charlie sheen bit was genious mate :P
7:28PM on 03/22/2011

BAD

I'm yet to read anything about this project that makes me happy. Bad...bad. Just bad.........ugh!
I'm yet to read anything about this project that makes me happy. Bad...bad. Just bad.........ugh!
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6:49PM on 03/22/2011
for fuck sake :(
for fuck sake :(
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5:47PM on 03/22/2011
I'm not one to jump on the "they need to be (insert ethnicity here)" bandwagon... I don't care if an brit is playing a german or an american or an american playing a Norwegian... It's just a movie... but comeon this is stupid. If it takes place in Japan, at least cast an asian who can get away with looking Japanese. And I thought Akira was one of the few animes where the characters actually looked Japanese/Asian.

Not to mention this is just a bad idea all together. The scope of a lot of
I'm not one to jump on the "they need to be (insert ethnicity here)" bandwagon... I don't care if an brit is playing a german or an american or an american playing a Norwegian... It's just a movie... but comeon this is stupid. If it takes place in Japan, at least cast an asian who can get away with looking Japanese. And I thought Akira was one of the few animes where the characters actually looked Japanese/Asian.

Not to mention this is just a bad idea all together. The scope of a lot of animes tend to be much bigger than they can ever get right in live action. I shutter just thinking about what the last few scenes of the movie would look like with live action... I mean, not saying it can't be done, it's just that from what I've seen there are a lot of things they can only get away with in a cartoon cause otherwise, the price tag goes through the roof... and with that casting, I don't think they're putting much faith in this. This will probably be horrible with cheap effects and bad dialog. If it's not and it's actually good, I'll bite my tongue out.
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5:44PM on 03/22/2011

Fail.

I guess an actual, oh I dont know, ASIAN cast was too much to hope for.
I guess an actual, oh I dont know, ASIAN cast was too much to hope for.
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2:39PM on 03/22/2011
and the whitewash treatment continues....havent we learned anything from the Airbender criticism? come on hollyweird
and the whitewash treatment continues....havent we learned anything from the Airbender criticism? come on hollyweird
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2:56PM on 03/22/2011
Let us not forget Dragonball and Chun Li.
Let us not forget Dragonball and Chun Li.
2:19PM on 03/22/2011
I think Zac Efron is a better choice for Kaneda than all those other choices that r too old to play the part. I don't care if all he has done is teeny bopper stuff he has the look. I'm fine with the characters not being Asian cuz they didn't look Asian even though it took place in Japan in the anime. I think Joseph Gorden-Levitt would make a good Testuo even though he is older he still looks really young. Maybe they should get no name actors who look and can act the part and make some stars.
I think Zac Efron is a better choice for Kaneda than all those other choices that r too old to play the part. I don't care if all he has done is teeny bopper stuff he has the look. I'm fine with the characters not being Asian cuz they didn't look Asian even though it took place in Japan in the anime. I think Joseph Gorden-Levitt would make a good Testuo even though he is older he still looks really young. Maybe they should get no name actors who look and can act the part and make some stars. I'm not excited about the directors either, they r ok directors but their style won't fit with the film but who knows I could be wrong.
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1:50PM on 03/22/2011
Wow. So fucking stupid. I always thought that the only way to make this movie and maintain the western appeal is to do a joint venture with Japanese crews a la "Letters from Iwo Jima". This will be typical gentrified Hollywood shit... but they're still keeping the Japanese character names!! What a shame.
Wow. So fucking stupid. I always thought that the only way to make this movie and maintain the western appeal is to do a joint venture with Japanese crews a la "Letters from Iwo Jima". This will be typical gentrified Hollywood shit... but they're still keeping the Japanese character names!! What a shame.
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12:50PM on 03/22/2011
If they're gonna make this piece of shit, can we please cast an Asian American at the least?? John Cho? Ken Leung?
If they're gonna make this piece of shit, can we please cast an Asian American at the least?? John Cho? Ken Leung?
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1:01PM on 03/22/2011
an adaptation of Akira needs Asian actors if it isn't placed in Japan as much as The Departed needed Asian actors when it was remade and placed in Boston.
an adaptation of Akira needs Asian actors if it isn't placed in Japan as much as The Departed needed Asian actors when it was remade and placed in Boston.
1:49PM on 03/22/2011
Hence I said Asian American.
Hence I said Asian American.
8:05PM on 03/23/2011
The Departed didn't have anyone named Chen Wing Yan, either.
The Departed didn't have anyone named Chen Wing Yan, either.
12:17PM on 03/22/2011

Sorry

This should never be made.
How they even going to translate the awesome violence the original has?

As for the choices, well...I have nothing but love for them, but none of them are fit for the role. If you want to follow the original footsteps that is.
This should never be made.
How they even going to translate the awesome violence the original has?

As for the choices, well...I have nothing but love for them, but none of them are fit for the role. If you want to follow the original footsteps that is.
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12:15PM on 03/22/2011
I think its retarded to cast american actors for An obvious Japanes role. That is really stupid to that. I would make the movie for what it is or just leave it alone
I think its retarded to cast american actors for An obvious Japanes role. That is really stupid to that. I would make the movie for what it is or just leave it alone
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11:53AM on 03/22/2011
i think pattinson and pine works well. pine for kaneda and pattinson for testsuo
i think pattinson and pine works well. pine for kaneda and pattinson for testsuo
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-10
11:13AM on 03/22/2011
I think any of those names being tossed around are fine, even Pattinson. It's the Hughes Bros that better step up their "A" game.
I think any of those names being tossed around are fine, even Pattinson. It's the Hughes Bros that better step up their "A" game.
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11:10AM on 03/22/2011
As pointless as this movie is, if they went with Andrew Garfield and Michael Fassbender, it'd be a step in the right direction.
As pointless as this movie is, if they went with Andrew Garfield and Michael Fassbender, it'd be a step in the right direction.
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-1
11:00AM on 03/22/2011
its gonna be robert pattinson and chris pine. calling it.

(NOTE i dont necessarily want those. they should just not make this movie with white dudes. but that what it will be)
its gonna be robert pattinson and chris pine. calling it.

(NOTE i dont necessarily want those. they should just not make this movie with white dudes. but that what it will be)
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+6
10:56AM on 03/22/2011
I.m trying not to write this off before seeing anything from it, but if they cast Robert Pattinson for Tetsuo, I'm giving up. He is a disease for any movie.
I.m trying not to write this off before seeing anything from it, but if they cast Robert Pattinson for Tetsuo, I'm giving up. He is a disease for any movie.
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10:43AM on 03/22/2011
How about casting some teenagers to play the uhh... TEENAGERS in the story?
How about casting some teenagers to play the uhh... TEENAGERS in the story?
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+14
10:34AM on 03/22/2011
This is such a shit idea. Kaneda and Tetsuo are the same age. And in HIGH SCHOOL. Why the hell are they talking to actors who are between 30 and 40? As for the tidbit, I'd cast Japanese American actors. Because the story TAKES PLACE IN JAPAN.
This is such a shit idea. Kaneda and Tetsuo are the same age. And in HIGH SCHOOL. Why the hell are they talking to actors who are between 30 and 40? As for the tidbit, I'd cast Japanese American actors. Because the story TAKES PLACE IN JAPAN.
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+7
10:21AM on 03/22/2011
I guess if I had to choose I'd pick James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender as funny as that may sound. I still dont think this can be done properly. If its pg-13 EPIC FAIL
I guess if I had to choose I'd pick James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender as funny as that may sound. I still dont think this can be done properly. If its pg-13 EPIC FAIL
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10:59AM on 03/22/2011
before they were proefessor x and magneto, they were charles and erik... and somewhere in between they were tetsuo and kaneda.
before they were proefessor x and magneto, they were charles and erik... and somewhere in between they were tetsuo and kaneda.
9:38PM on 03/22/2011
Brilliant TAE K! Absolutely brilliant. And if there was a significant connection between those movies, I'd freaking see it! Possibly even if it was PG13.
Brilliant TAE K! Absolutely brilliant. And if there was a significant connection between those movies, I'd freaking see it! Possibly even if it was PG13.
10:19AM on 03/22/2011

what?

no Asians? (in that not one asian actor/director is attached to this project at all!)
no Asians? (in that not one asian actor/director is attached to this project at all!)
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10:16AM on 03/22/2011
I'd be fine with any of the matchups except Justin Timberlake.

He is not a good actor and definitely not as good enough as the other actors who are up for the role.
I'd be fine with any of the matchups except Justin Timberlake.

He is not a good actor and definitely not as good enough as the other actors who are up for the role.
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10:08AM on 03/22/2011

Weakest Link

Maybe it's just me, but I think the weakest link here isn't the list of possible actors but the Directors themselves. I think the Hughes Brothers are Hughely overrated. I cannot see them bringing anything to the table that would make this worth seeing. The scale of this movie is too large for them. They'll surely fuck it up. Get rid of them and call Jim Cameron for Chrissake.
Maybe it's just me, but I think the weakest link here isn't the list of possible actors but the Directors themselves. I think the Hughes Brothers are Hughely overrated. I cannot see them bringing anything to the table that would make this worth seeing. The scale of this movie is too large for them. They'll surely fuck it up. Get rid of them and call Jim Cameron for Chrissake.
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-3
9:58AM on 03/22/2011
Garett Hedlund = Kaneda
Andrew Garfield = Tetsuo

I'd consider watching that.
Garett Hedlund = Kaneda
Andrew Garfield = Tetsuo

I'd consider watching that.
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+9
9:58AM on 03/22/2011
But for the love of god: Make it R-rated. I want to see some f**king exploding bodies and other weird shit a pg-13 rating wouldn't tolarate.
But for the love of god: Make it R-rated. I want to see some f**king exploding bodies and other weird shit a pg-13 rating wouldn't tolarate.
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-7
9:54AM on 03/22/2011
Yes, it will probably not be as good as it could be but I'm hip to this news just for the chance. Loove the anime and manga but even if the film sucks it wouldn't change my mind about it.

Andrew Garfield and Garrett Hedlund sounds like fine choises.
Yes, it will probably not be as good as it could be but I'm hip to this news just for the chance. Loove the anime and manga but even if the film sucks it wouldn't change my mind about it.

Andrew Garfield and Garrett Hedlund sounds like fine choises.
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9:48AM on 03/22/2011
It doesn't matter who they cast, this movie is going to fail. Akira cannot translate well to live action. It's a film that only works in anime. The plot and the events in that flick are too bizarre. For example, a certain character turning into a giant mass of muscle. ...Um yeah, good luck Hughes brothers.
It doesn't matter who they cast, this movie is going to fail. Akira cannot translate well to live action. It's a film that only works in anime. The plot and the events in that flick are too bizarre. For example, a certain character turning into a giant mass of muscle. ...Um yeah, good luck Hughes brothers.
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10:08AM on 03/22/2011
Exactly!
Exactly!
+15
9:15AM on 03/22/2011
So Hollywood thinks this is fantastic idea, but a Del Toro/Cameron/Cruise collaboration can't find funding?
So Hollywood thinks this is fantastic idea, but a Del Toro/Cameron/Cruise collaboration can't find funding?
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9:03AM on 03/22/2011
If they're gonna ruin it anyway and not use teenagers, might as well go the McAvoy/Pine route.
If they're gonna ruin it anyway and not use teenagers, might as well go the McAvoy/Pine route.
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+11
8:53AM on 03/22/2011
This is going to be a catastrophe.
This is going to be a catastrophe.
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8:22AM on 03/22/2011
I just don't see how this can be live action, and you know it has to be dumbed down and explained for mass consumption.

As far as casting, they should have filmed it 20 years ago with Johnny Depp and Keanu Reeves.
I just don't see how this can be live action, and you know it has to be dumbed down and explained for mass consumption.

As far as casting, they should have filmed it 20 years ago with Johnny Depp and Keanu Reeves.
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8:47AM on 03/22/2011
nice choice of actors for the leads, i do believe they might have worked :)
nice choice of actors for the leads, i do believe they might have worked :)
-14
7:42AM on 03/22/2011
Don't really know what/who Akira is but just give it to Andrew Garfield. I just wanna see that dude in more films.
Don't really know what/who Akira is but just give it to Andrew Garfield. I just wanna see that dude in more films.
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8:14AM on 03/22/2011
dude, thats messed up. if you dont even know what people are talking about, why did you comment? :P
dude, thats messed up. if you dont even know what people are talking about, why did you comment? :P
+8
6:53AM on 03/22/2011

Awful choices

Those are all terrible choices and I can't think of anyone I would be willing to pay to go see. I say go with total unknowns. I don't really care anyway because I refuse to watch it.
Those are all terrible choices and I can't think of anyone I would be willing to pay to go see. I say go with total unknowns. I don't really care anyway because I refuse to watch it.
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+14
6:29AM on 03/22/2011

And it's going to be PG13

Just walk away from it all...
Just walk away from it all...
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7:29AM on 03/22/2011
PG13, really???
wow, this is really gonna suck :D :D :D
PG13, really???
wow, this is really gonna suck :D :D :D
+12
6:20AM on 03/22/2011
if this ever gets made, i bet it will suck major ass, hollywood isnt ready to make this movie into a live-action film, theyre just not.

i hope this gets stuck in the movies that never got made category...


P.S. i love Akira, but not like this, not like this...
if this ever gets made, i bet it will suck major ass, hollywood isnt ready to make this movie into a live-action film, theyre just not.

i hope this gets stuck in the movies that never got made category...


P.S. i love Akira, but not like this, not like this...
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5:39AM on 03/22/2011
Whoever wants to make an amercanized life-action version of Akira should take this idea and stick it to where the sun doesn't shine.
Whoever wants to make an amercanized life-action version of Akira should take this idea and stick it to where the sun doesn't shine.
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