Warners Courting James Franco for ‘Akira’!

File this one under rumor for now as Just Jared is claiming that Warners is courting James Franco (Rise of the Apes , Spider-Man) to take the lead role of Shotaro Kaneda in Akira, the long in development adaptation of the popular Japanese Manga series. Zac Efron was offered the role but turned it down.

The flick will be based off of anime artist Katsuhiro Otomo’s six-volume cyberpunk comic with the film being set in New Manhattan, where the leader of a biker gang saves his friend from a medical experiment that nearly leads to the apocalypse.

Warner Bros. has tapped brothers Allen and Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli) to helm the project, along with Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company Appian Way.

Source: Just Jared