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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The live-action, English-language remake of the Japanese animation classic Akira has suffered so many stops and starts over the years that I was beginning to think (/hope) it’d never happen. But now that Warner Bros. has officially greenlit the movie, it seems director Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan) isn’t wasting any time getting things together. We heard last week that Garrett Hedlund (TRON: Legacy) was the frontrunner to star as Kaneda, and now it looks like a couple of other actors have been tapped as well. According to a new report, Gary Oldman and Helena Bonham Carter have been offered roles in the film. 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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Is the live-action Akira dead, or is it not? That status has been a big question mark more than once in the past couple years as directors and screenwriters have tried to develop a new Americanized live-action version of the classic manga and anime by Katsuhiro Otomo.

Now we know that the new version is very much alive, as WB is looking to Jaume Collet-Serra, the director of Orphan and the Liam Neeson action thriller Unknown, to direct Akira. Read More »

The last time we heard about the 300 sequel Xerxes it wasn’t called Xerxes any longer. We didn’t have a new title then, but now we do. In order to avoid any confusion, the producers are falling back on the title of the first film and appending a subtitle. So now what was Xerxes will hit theaters as 300: Battle of Artemisia. Assuming, that is, that the film is ever shot.

The sequel needs a director at this point, but that field seems to have narrowed down to a few possible choices that include Noam Murro and Jaume Collet-Serra. Read More »

Paranormal Activity director Oren Peli is behind a new ABC show called The River, which follows the search for  a missing nature TV host. Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan) directed the pilot from a script by Michael R. Perry and Michael Green, and a trailer has shown up online. Read More »

What is Page 2? Page 2 is a compilation of stories and news tidbits, which for whatever reason, didn’t make the front page of /Film. After the jump we’ve included 30 different items, fun images, videos, casting tidbits, articles of interest and more. It’s like a mystery grab bag of movie web related goodness. If you have any interesting items that we might’ve missed that you think should go in /Film’s Page 2 – email us!

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If you haven’t seen the key films by Jean-Pierre Melville, now is a great time to change that. Movies like Bob le Flambeur, Le Samourai, Army of Shadows and Le Cercle Rouge (The Red Circle) have inspired many notable filmmakers and are, simply, magnificent cinematic experiences.

Remarkably, most of his major films have escaped being remade, though John Woo (a major Melville fan) has talked about remaking both Le Samourai and Le Cercle Rouge. The latter passed from his hands into those of Johnnie To, who had actors attached, then it went briefly to John Hillcoat. Now the Le Cercle Rouge remake is in entirely the wrong hands: those of Unknown director Jaume Collet-Serra. Read More »

On Friday there was word that Orphan and Unknown director Jaume Collet-Serra would be developing a new Dracula film with Leonardo DiCaprio’s company Appian Way. The basis is a spec script by Lee Shipman and Brian McGreevy called Bram Stoker’s Dracula Project. Or, it was using that name. Now the film is going under the name Harker, and new details reveal it to be what sounds like an action-oriented take on the old story. Read More »

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Movie Trailer: ‘Unknown,’ Starring Liam Neeson

Once called Unknown White Male, Jaume Collet-Serra‘s film Unknown stars Liam Neeson who emerges from a four-day coma after an accident only to find that his identity has been stolen. There’s now a trailer for the film; watch it after the break. Read More »