Bad Idea Of The Day? Keanu Reeves Up For AKIRA?

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Bad Idea Of The Day? Keanu Reeves Up For AKIRA?
If Keanu Reeves were still the age he was in the photo to the left then reports that he is currently in talks to take the role of Kaneda in the Albert Hughes directed remake of Akira might actually make sense. Only he's not. And it doesn't. Which is probably why it will actually happen.

Because, you see, nothing about this project has made sense from the beginning - a fact I suspect had a great deal to do with original director Ruairi Robinson walking away from it. But the lack of sense hasn't stopped backers from pushing ahead through multiple directors and a complete inability to attach cast. If you're going to make a live action adaptation of the manga and animated feature making the characters white - though leaving them with their Japanese names - and moving the action from Tokyo to New York makes no sense. Location matters in Akira. But that's what they're planning to do in the apparent hope - a badly misguided one, I believe - that they can leverage the name to draw a crowd.

Not that anybody making the decisions on this cares what I think but if you must do an Americanized Akira I think the first thing you need to do is jettison the Akira name. But the underlying rights, sure, and work the underlying themes but the only way to do this and have it work is to build a new story from the ground up, simply changing race and location is doomed to fail and fail badly. But, hey, what do I know? It looks like Keanu Reeves is going to be Kaneda regardless of what I think.
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via The Hollywood Reporter

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brbro4May 7, 2011 1:20 AM

They're keeping the names? Of all things to hold on to they decided the names were most important. If you're gonna make an adaptation and change everything you might as well go all out.

Ard VijnMay 7, 2011 2:41 AM

A 46-year old playing Kaneda? This must be the biggest age-mismatch since Donnie Yen in "Dragon Tiger Gate"...

KrackerMay 7, 2011 2:52 AM

Isn't Keanu Reeves always the bad idea of the day?

societyfordaintydamsels.wordpress.comMay 7, 2011 4:43 AM

My thoughts on Joaquin not getting the part of Kaneda in the Hughes bros movie Akira.For one thing there were several actors up for the part. One of the things I learned here in imdb just how competitive the movie business is. There was of course no guarantee any of them would be picked. I am not that upset JP not getting the role. There are quite a few Asian Americans and Asians in general who are up in arms only white actors were being considered. Since Akira was a Japanese film to me they are right. Plus many Akira fans of whatever ethnic background considered the film should only be of young 20 something actors. Most of the ones considered were at least in their 30s. Keanu Reeves is 47.
I think Phoenix is a much better actor than Reeves. OTOH that's not saying much. Most are much better. The one thing Keanu has going for him imho is he looks somewhat Oriental with his Polynesian background. JP is a significantly better actor. Heck he's one of the best actors in film. 7, 2011 11:38 AM "he looks somewhat Oriental..."

Oriental is a style of carpet, it is an offensive and outdated description of someone's race.

Andrew MackMay 7, 2011 1:54 PM

I think they're serious about this because after The Matrix Reeves gave everyone on the stunt team a Harley Davidson. It's quite simple then. The Hughes Brothers want Harleys.

societyfordaintydamsels.wordpress.comMay 7, 2011 3:42 PM

To Manchest
I feel terrible I offended you. I just didn't want to use the word Asian twice. You're right. Not going to write anything smartass. You are right in what you wrote in your post.

PAUL GERRARDMay 9, 2011 4:30 AM

As long as they keep the vibe of Akira, the bikes, the neon drenched backstreets. Roit police, completely surreal biomech crazy deformed creature madness I'll be happy. At to that a huge budget to realise the world, it will make a hell of a film. Even if it is in New York . yeah, keanu is too old to play the orginal kaneda character but to be honest Id rather see Keanu in a different take on it that some lame pubescent american heartthrob who is the latest 'face', thats what would happen!.