Anime fans, begin thy frothing at the mouth—casting has officially begun for the live action version of the 1988 anime classic Akira, which in turn was based upon a six-volume graphic novel.  And just be glad that, unlike previous rumors to the contrary, Keanu Reeves is no longer involved.

According to Deadline:

“The script for the Warner Bros/Legendary Pictures live action adaptation of anime artist Katsuhiro Otomo’s 6-volume graphic novel Akira has been sent to a short list of actors. The picture is finally taking shape for an August start, following the delivery of a rewrite by Steve Kloves that has director Albert Hughes and the studio brass excited.”

The story for the mind-bending saga is fairly hard to describe, but it involves a young gang of high-school aged motorcycle hoodlums, an post-atomic holocaust, government experiments with telepathy, and some of the craziest visuals you’ll ever see onscreen.

And who will play the two central roles in Akira?  Please don’t say Justin Timberlake, please don’t say Justin Timberlake, please don’t say Justin Timberlake…

“There are two major roles, and I’m told that for Tetsuo, Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield and James McAvoy have been given the new script. For the role of Kaneda, the script has been given to Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake and Joaquin Phoenix. The two leads are expected to come from that group of actors.”


What do you think of the Akira casting news?