With any remake, one of the biggest questions is how closely it’ll hew to the source material. In the case of Jaume Collet-Serra‘s live-action, English-language Akira, we already know that the action has been moved from neo-Tokyo to neo-Manhattan, and that Warner Bros. has tapped the Caucasian, late-20s Garrett Hedlund to star as Kaneda, originally written as a Japanese teenager. A lot of our other assumptions so far, however, have simply been based on our knowledge of the previous film.

Now a recent casting call has revealed a synopsis of the plot, shedding some light on what we can and can’t expect to see changed in Collet-Serra’s version. For the most part the story seems to have made the move to our shores intact, though there are some noteworthy edits. Read more after the jump.

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Say what you will about Jaume Collet-Serra‘s live-action Akira, but the casting folks have been making some pretty intriguing choices so far. Okay, so Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart haven’t exactly gone over great with the fans. But the first two actors we heard of getting offers were Helena Bonham Carter and Gary Oldman, with Keira Knightley being “approached” at some point and the likes of Michael Pitt and Paul Dano testing for the part of Tetsuo.

Now the bad news is that Warner Bros. has been unable to close its deal with Oldman — but on the plus side, they’ve given the offer to Ken Watanabe to replace him. More details after the jump.

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Kristen Stewart Offered ‘Akira’ [Updated]

[UPDATE: Deadline has confirmed that Stewart is in advanced talks for the part of Kei in Akira.]

I don’t have the numbers to back it up, but if I had to guess I’d say there’s a sizable overlap between /Film readers, Twilight haters, and people dreading Warner Bros.’ Akira remake. So I’m guessing that this bit of news is not about to go over so well. A new report has surfaced claiming that Kristen Stewart has been offered the female lead role of Kei in the sci-fi project, which is being directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan). More details after the jump.

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As Garrett Hedlund continues his negotiations over the lead role of Kaneda in Warner Bros.’ Akira remake, the studio and director Jaume Collet-Serra are wasting no time filling in the other roles as well. Buried in one report about Hedlund starring in the film was a tidbit about Keira Knightley being approached for the project. Though her possible role has not been revealed, I’m guessing she’s up for the part of Kaneda’s love interest Kei, member of an underground rebel group.

Knightley’s involvement is far from a done deal at this point, as she’s yet to enter talks. Helena Bonham Carter and Gary Oldman, who were also given offers last month, apparently aren’t any farther along in the process either. Still, the fact that they’ve been approached at all suggests the filmmakers are hoping for a certain caliber of talent for the movie. (Not to mention a certain level of British-ness.) Knightley and Bonham Carter have both been nominated for Oscars in the past, and while Oldman has somehow escaped that honor, it’s not for lack of deserving. [The Hollywood Reporter via The Playlist]

After the jump, another potential project for Gary Oldman, while Jane Campion gets Holly Hunter, Elisabeth Moss, Peter Mullan, and David Wenham to sign on for her latest.

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Garrett Hedlund in Talks for ‘Akira’ [Updated]

[UPDATE: Variety has just confirmed that Garrett Hedlund is in negotiations to star as Kaneda in Jaume Collet-Serra‘s Akira. Original story follows.]

Speculation on who would be cast in the lead character of Kaneda has abounded just as long as reports of a live-action American remake of Akira have been floating around, with Keanu Reeves, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, and James Franco among the names who’ve been rumored over the past few years. But as the film has inched closer to reality, with Warner Bros. giving the green light to the Jaume Collet-Serra-helmed incarnation last month, Tron: Legacy‘s Garrett Hedlund emerged as the frontrunner to star in the film. Now a new report says he’s just received a formal offer for the role. More details after the jump.

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After a long and rumor-filled development hell, one of the most celebrated animated films of all time, Akira, has officially been greenlit for a live action remake. Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan, Unknown, House of Wax) will helm the newly-budgeted $90 million movie about the leader of a biker gang whose best friend is infected with an unstoppable power.

Shooting will begin in late February/early March 2012 according to Variety, who broke the news. They also report Garrett Hedlund (TRON: Legacy) is the front runner for the lead role of Kaneda. More after the jump.

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The last time we checked in on casting for The Bourne Legacy, it seemed that basically every male actor under a certain age was being considered for the lead. Now it looks like casting is narrowing down a bit as the film moves forward. We can’t say for sure which names have been eliminated, but we do know which actors are scheduled for screen tests at the moment: Joel Edgerton, Dominic Cooper, Luke Evans and Garrett Hedlund (who, along with Alex Pettyfer, seems to be up for every major role in Hollywood these days). A few other names are still in the running as well. Read more after the jump.

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Looks like Warner Bros. is really going to make a new live-action version of Akira, adapted from Katsuhiro Otomo‘s massive manga of the same name. And it looks like some big changes — cosmetic ones at least, and probably several deep cuts — are in store. We’d already heard that a previous draft of the script was thrown at actors like Brad Pitt and James Franco, which suggested that the Albert Hughes-directed film is going to go pretty far off-book. (The leads in both the manga and anime versions of Akira are Japanese high-schoolers.)

The identities of actors that were offered a previous draft of the script seem to be open to question, but now there is a new shortlist based on the most recent script. That was just turned in by Harry Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves, and has reportedly been delivered to a handful of actors, with a few in mind as possible choices for the two lead roles of Kaneda and Tetsuo. Among the names are Robert Pattinson, Michael Fassbender and Joaquin Phoenix. Stop saying ‘WTF?’ and hit the jump for more info. Read More »

Last year, before Tron Legacy was released, Disney shot some footage that didn’t appear in the film, but will show up on the DVD release that hits in April. Some of that footage became Tron: The Next Day (Flynn Lives Revealed), which is on YouTube now. You can watch the ten-minute short after the break. Read More »

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