James Franco to Play Lead in American “Akira” Film?

Actor James Franco is being considered for the role of Kaneda in the American live-action adaptation of the classic Japanese anime film “Akira”:

Filmmakers Albert and Allen Hughes (The Book of Eli) are collaborating with Iron Man/Cowboys & Aliens co-screenwriters Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby on the live-action version of Akira, which shifts the setting from futuristic Tokyo to Manhattan. According to Just Jared, Franco would star as the leader of a biker gang (a character named Shotaro Kaneda in the original manga/anime), whose comrade is kidnapped by the government and subjugated to scientific experiments that cause him to develop dangerous psychic powers.

While Franco is arguably a more convincing choice to play the head of an anarchistic gang than Zac Efron, the 32-year-old actor seems a bit much on the mature side to star as an adolescent rebel. The Hughes Brothers movie might feature a significantly re-worked version of the Kaneda character, so that he’s more of a fully grown, Mad Max breed of ruffian than a futuristic James Dean type – if so, Franco being cast makes more sense

jprobe

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