Plot details for this “Jekyll” are being kept locked in the laboratory.
Even though he has a strong relationship with Warner Bros. by way of the The Matrix franchise, Keanu Reeves has officially passed on the role of Kaneda in the live-action Akira film, based on the 1988 landmark anime and six-volume manga, reports JoBlo.
The project has been in development hell for years and has had numerous big names circling it – James Franco, Brad Pitt, Joseph Gordon-Levitt to name a few – but none have ultimately signed on to the Albert Hughes helmed sci-fi flick, whose budget has swelled to an estimated $140 million. WB must’ve really been saddened by Keanu passing on the role, because they shut down the pre-viz department and let go most of the staff working on the film afterwards.
They still claim to be in the adaptation business, saying “Production on `Akira’ has not halted or been shut down, as the film has not yet been greenlit and is still very much in the development stage. The exploratory process is crucial to a project of this magnitude, and we will continue to sculpt our approach to making the best possible film.”
Regardless of the spin the studio will try to put on this, the facts are these: With word of even more possible rewrites to lower the budget (which soared much higher than WB expected), Akira is going to limp to its death unless an outside studio steps in to co-produce or an A-list actor jumps on board – and fast. They can tinker all they want, but Akira is huge in scope. Unless WB decides to visually represent the physical manifestation of Akira as a storm cloud (I’m looking at you, Rise Of The Silver Surfer) and film it in suburbia, I can’t imagine the film costing less than $100 million.
Woah, in the future I have a career!
Akira, the English-language, live-action take on the landmark anime and manga property, is zeroing in on its star, and it just might be Keanu Reeves, says Heat Vision.
Warner Bros. has been having a tough time finding the two leads of the movie, to be directed by Albert Hughes. In the script, “the action moves from Neo-Tokyo to New Manhattan, where a biker gang leader tries to save his best friend from a medical experiment that threatens to unleash destructive powers.”
Actors ranging from James Franco and Joseph Gordon-Levitt to Robert Pattinson and Michael Fassbender have circled the project in some form or fashion as the studio sought to find an A-list lead.
Now comes word that Reeves has held talks with the studio, with whom he already made the massively successful Matrix movies, for the part of Kaneda, the gang leader. Reeves doesn’t yet have an offer for the role, but they add the talks with his reps have been going well.
Keanu Reeves portrays Klaatu, an alien whose arrival on our planet triggers a global upheaval. As governments and scientists race to unravel the mystery behind the visitor’s appearance, a woman (Jennifer Connelly) and her young stepson get caught up in his mission – and come to understand the ramifications of Klaatu calling himself a “friend to the Earth.”
Based on the DC/Vertigo comic book Hellblazer and written by Kevin Brodbin, Mark Bomback and Frank Capello, “Constantine” tells the story of irreverent supernatural detective John Constantine (Reeves), who has literally been to hell and back. When Constantine teams up with skeptical policewoman Angela Dodson (Weisz) to solve the mysterious suicide of her twin sister (also played by Weisz), their investigation takes them through the world of demons and angels that exists just beneath the landscape of contemporary Los Angeles. Caught in a catastrophic series of otherworldy events, the two become inextricably involved and seek to find their own peace at whatever cost.
The vampire comes to England to seduce a visitor’s fiance and inflict havoc in the foreign land.