BREAKING: Kristen Stewart Offered Kei In AKIRA

Founder and Editor; Toronto, Canada (@AnarchistTodd)
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BREAKING: Kristen Stewart Offered Kei In AKIRA
Has Jaume Collet-Sera's Akira found its female lead?

Twitch was the first to bring word of Gary Oldman, Helena Bonham Carter and Garrett Hedlund being offered parts in the Warner Brothers backed US adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo's classic manga and now we have learned that Kristen Stewart has been offered the part of Kei, a young medium who becomes the love interest for Kaneda - the role already offered to Hedlund.

Stewart is a choice that makes sense on most levels - she's certainly talented and has name recognition far above most in her generation - but also concerning in that none of the Twilight cast, Stewart included, have been able to find any sort of success outside of that franchise with Twilight fans not caring what any of them do elsewhere and everyone else generally staying away because of the Twilight stigma. Could this break the trend if Stewart accepts? Possibly - that it's more of a support role than a lead will help - but it's a somewhat risky move.
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Todd BrownNovember 15, 2011 1:12 PM

Is it a bad thing that I find it incredibly amusing to watch all the Twilight fans go "WUT?" on Twitter as they try to figure out what Akira is?

KarenNovember 15, 2011 1:21 PM

I'm a twilight fan and I know very well what Akira is, and I say "what" ...
You are really the kind of men that doesn't understand what a woman means when she is talking ...
poor smartass mens

Mazinger ZNovember 15, 2011 1:34 PM

That made no sense. Sorry.
In defense of Todd, I don't think he was specifically talking about female fans of the movie. I believe he was referring to the entire Twi-tard generation.

MarsHottentotNovember 15, 2011 1:35 PM


Todd BrownNovember 15, 2011 1:37 PM

I'm talking specifically about the huge number of tweets currently in my feed saying 'wut?'

And 'men' is already plural.

Mazinger ZNovember 15, 2011 1:40 PM

Case in point.

Anyway...technically an "offer" means nothing in this business. Its when she's at the negotiating table that I'll be pulling my hair out.

Ard VijnNovember 15, 2011 2:20 PM

Not the worst news so far in this production. And yes, reading the Twi-litter on Twitter is funny.

kevthomzNovember 15, 2011 2:33 PM

"Stewart is a choice that makes sense on most levels - she's certainly talented..."

I officially can't take you seriously. It's bad enough you've been avocating this adaptation from the beginning but to basically co-sign her potential casting says a lot.

Let's see... the first live action 'Akira' is:

1) Set in New York
2) With a pre-dominantly Caucasian cast
3) That's rated PG-13

So much wrong with this picture.

And no, I'm not an 'Akira' fanboy, I just recognize glaringly bullsh*t when I see it.

kevthomzNovember 15, 2011 2:34 PM


RoboticPlagueNovember 15, 2011 2:46 PM

Anybody that thinks Kristen Stewart is a good actress needs to be shot. She cannot act at all. All she does is look at the ground and play with her damn hair. this movie needs to not happen at all.

monkeypunkNovember 15, 2011 3:00 PM

As an Akira fanboy, I would add that having all caucasians sucks, pg-13 sucks and Kristen StoneFace Stewart sucks. They have eviscerated the original product and filled it with suck! I would be really surprised if anything worthwhile came from this. I predict League of Extraordinary Gentlemen all over again.

bluedarkness12November 15, 2011 3:54 PM

Every time I see news about "Akira", I keep thinking it can't get any worse but it always does. If she is apart of the project now, can they just change the name of the film already? This movie will only lead to 2 things:
-Either it will flop so hard where anime won't be touched again by Hollywood
-or succeed and they will continue to whitewash and destroy every anime they will get their hands on

Todd BrownNovember 15, 2011 4:22 PM

Read what I actually said. I said it makes sense. And it absolutely does. You're dealing with a studio picture and the studio absolutely, 100% does not care about making a film that will appeal to the existing fan base. You don't spend 90 million dollars to make a film for a group of - at absolute most - a couple hundred thousand people. That's stupid business and whatever else Warner Brothers may be, they're not stupid. Recognizing what this is and 'advocating' it are two totally different things. I don't care if they ever make this or not, I've got a perfectly good copy of the original I can pull off my shelf any time I want.

Todd BrownNovember 15, 2011 4:24 PM

Yes, of course. They will destroy them by pulling all of the original versions off the air and off store shelves, burning the original studios to the ground and destroying the original negatives. That's exactly what will happen.

Or, things will remain exactly as they've always been and you'll be able to get the original versions just as easily - if not moreso - than you always have while the money the original producers make from the remakes is sunk into making more original material, which you will also have easy access to. Or they could just pocket it as a reward for a job well done, which is absolutely their right.

ChevalierAguilaNovember 15, 2011 4:28 PM

lol, i might actually see this just to watch the train wreck in full detail.

tensecNovember 15, 2011 4:57 PM

I don't see your point at all.

On a side note, I was very hopeful after hearing about Gary Oldman and Helena, but this is just depressing, sure after this tragedy we'll still have the original, but it sucks that comics are getting so many adaptations and that people who previously couldn't give two rats asses about comics are now starting to read comics. After this adaptation however people will just go "I don't see what was so great about that movie, or anime or manga for that matter" and the art will sink into even more obscurity.

I seriously don't think she has the ability to play Kei, I don't necesarilly agree with you saying that she has talent but I can't say she doesn't either, and it's true she is sort of a name right now more so than most actrices but there's so much more room for unknown actors and actrices to get found in these type of movies.

Well that's my opinion, at least I still want to watch this movie only due to G'Oldman and Helena, not like DB Evolution which in my book could've never even existed.

brbro4November 15, 2011 6:18 PM

This news is hardly offensive. If anything it's entertaining to see the direction this is going. This adaptation will not be what we all remember Akira to be so I've learned to let that go already. Maybe this movie will suck or maybe it won't, but no matter what happens Kristen Stewart won't make or break this movie.

Mazinger ZNovember 15, 2011 9:11 PM

Things could be worse. Do I have to bring up the debacle that was Dragonball Evolution?
Here are the facts as far as I know: up to this point, the only case member I know is actually at the negotiating table is Garret Hedlund to play the part of Kaneda. Helena Bonham Carter, Gary Oldman, Keira Knightley, and Kristen Stewart have all been either "mentioned" or have been extended an "offer".
I can't name one single remake/adaptation that was a true success for the big film studios. Why start now?

evangelionNovember 15, 2011 10:43 PM

you have to be fucking kidding me with this news , you know what ? not for anything , cause i do respect what people do for living , but i mean , dang !!!why heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer !!!! whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy ??????????? , nother from the list of : just oky , overexposed and tooo much over paid !!! , and yeah , tood you tha man , thank you , and you too mazinger z , ..and karen , please , i hope that your parents find out that you are using the internet , please , leave the monitor alone , when you write , do it with comon sense , twilight my left nutt !! ,..
anaways ,
akira , first of all why they have to make a live action movie about this masterpiece , that we all know that its going to suuuuuck big time ? why hollywood have to mess things up over and over ? leave it alone ? whats next ? the american version of la mona lisa ? o maybe guernica ? ..shit suckk!!

JamesNovember 15, 2011 11:29 PM

Fellow fanboys, we now have a mission. A mission to tank this P.O.S. film and prevent it from succeeding. It was already an abomination before this new news, but now: Kristen Stewart? The movie's officially turned into an outright monstrosity. And it needs to be PUT DOWN. Let's turn it into a failure of Uwe Boll-sized proportions!

SwarezNovember 16, 2011 4:54 AM

I don't get the talking point of the remake being all Caucasian. Why is that a problem? The story taking place in Tokyo isn't relevant and has no bearing on the how it reads. It could take place anywhere, NY, LA, Paris and still have the same impact.

and James Dingo. Boll is still directing and producing films. Very few of them have been giant failures as most of them have turned in to a franchise. A better analogy is needed.

ThomasNovember 16, 2011 6:58 AM

Stop...just stop... It needs to be set in Neo-Tokyo. Did you even watch the movie? Did you see the subtle political and social problems in the movie?

ErikaNovember 16, 2011 7:30 AM

oh good god whyyyyyyyyyy?? This is turning to look like the piece of crap BDZ ended up being!!

SwarezNovember 16, 2011 12:02 PM

Yes I saw the movie, before you were born as a matter of fact.
Why does it need to be in Neo Tokyo? The political and social problems are far from subtle, it's the whole point of the film. But it's also something that can be applied anywhere else in the world. The Tokyo setting makes it look cool, nothing more.

Todd BrownNovember 16, 2011 12:26 PM

You are greatly overestimating the size and power of the fanboy community.

Sean "The Butcher" SmithsonNovember 16, 2011 2:03 PM

For the record, Kristen Stewart was good in THE RUNAWAYS. This is said by someone who has been around Joan Jett the real person more than once as well.
She was also good in INTO THE WILD.

So whoever said she can't act isn't speaking with an educated opinion.

yetibreathNovember 16, 2011 2:04 PM

Being a bit close to the average example, I mean no disrespect by wondering how the size of any fan community can be overestimated !!
Aside I thought the Appleseed series was fantastic , unlike the original movie, though no as good as the manga..
Can they not give Akira to the people who revamped Star Trek?Excitement and special effects. Plus Akira is more relevant right now with supposedly crumbling society and feral kids and gangs.

Todd BrownNovember 16, 2011 2:50 PM

Anybody who suggests that the core fanbase of the existing Akira is large enough to be of any significance whatsoever in Warner Brothers' planning of this version is living in a pipe dream. If you look up the sales numbers the total number of people who own the animated Akira - which I would consider the fan community for this title - is a small fraction of one percent of the total US population. So the hardcore fans can squawk all they want, there aren't enough of them for WB to care and WB certainly aren't about to start making creative or casting decisions based on what that tiny percentage of people thinks when the reality is they're making this movie for, and plan to sell it to, the other 99+% of the population.

The fanboy community is disproportionately represented online so they (we, really) tend to dramatically overestimate just how many of us there are and, as a consequence, how much influence we really have. The reality is most fanboy oriented releases can only dream of selling even 100k units, which is a paltry, insignificant drop in the bucket when compared to a US population of well over 300 million. It's enough for a pretty thriving and diverse niche marketplace but not nearly enough for the studios to give a damn about at all.

TurboNovember 16, 2011 6:43 PM

I'm curious what Warner sees in this property in terms of making it a financial success. The fans of the property are small in number and more than 95% of them look upon this adaptation with disdain(just a guess, of course). The general populace has probably never heard of the property, and when they hear the description 'anime adaptation' would probably think 'Oh, like Pokemon'. The original film, if they stick fairly closely with the basic story, is not particularly commercial. The coveted 17-25 year old demographic who likes Transformers probably isn't going to say 'I like how everyone died in the end'. So, putting aside all artistic opinion and seeing this just as a financial venture, I don't understand what they see in it.

jwalk415November 16, 2011 6:50 PM

If they want Kristin Stewart, they might as well just ask Justin Bieber if he wants to be in it as well. I mean, that will bring even more butts to seats, wouldn't it? Sure, as Sean "The Butcher" has mentioned above me, Stewart has proven a capable actress in other films but it's a "guilt by association" deal with her. If she's going to appear in complete and utter crap that is the Twilight franchise, there will be many people who would reasonably hesitate about seeing her in future films as a result.

jwalk415November 16, 2011 6:58 PM

Well, Swarez, the way I look at it, diversity is a good thing, especially in the U.S. That's my response to the "Caucasian talking point" you're referring to...then again I'm against this project to begin with but I thought it needed to be mentioned.

VyceVictusNovember 16, 2011 8:05 PM

A reason to have flashy HD/3D visuals, dynamic chases, explosions and 'future stuff". Its really not a big mystery.

TurboNovember 16, 2011 8:50 PM

There have been a few futuristic sci-fi films with 'plosions in recent memory that haven't done well at the box office. I'm thinking about Repo Men, Serenity, Ultraviolet, Equilibrium, Aeon Flux, The Island, In Time, etc. Those films have more commercial storylines than Akira, and some of those them were quite good yet weren't hits.

The Akira producers are probably thinking the same things the producers of those movies were. Ok, I see why they're making it.

Todd BrownNovember 16, 2011 9:34 PM

I agree with this and think that the all-caucasian casting so far is an issue, particularly since - so far, at least - there has been no mention of changing the names. Which is just silly.

2011 had one of the whitest summers on screen in recent memory, with the most racially diverse of the big films ironically being the one about the Norse gods, and I firmly believe that the total lack of racial diversity on screen is a major contributing factor to sliding overall ticket sales. There are no firm numbers to back that, unfortunately, but when you look at the numbers that Tyler Perry films do, or things like The Help, despite bad critical response it's obvious that the black community is looking for alternatives and I see no reason why that wouldn't be true for Hispanics and Asians as well.

Todd BrownNovember 16, 2011 9:37 PM

Holy Christ, I'm agreeing with you twice in the same thread. It's a sign of the coming apocalypse.


Regardless of talent - or lack thereof - it seems pretty clear so far that the big trio of Twilight actors have been a poison pill to productions outside the franchise. They keep getting cast because of name recognition but nobody goes to see anything Stewart, Pattinson or Lautner are in other than the Twilight movies.

Todd BrownNovember 16, 2011 9:39 PM

They see TRON.

Ard VijnNovember 17, 2011 10:04 AM

Ok, I can see why Warner Brothers sees TRON in this, but why go for the name AKIRA and keep all the Japanese names? Not only is it silly, but those who recognize it will hate it and those who do not recognize it... will think it's silly.

The biggest problem I have with a remake like this is getting excited in a few years when AKIRA is shown somewhere, then talk people into going to see it with you, and then discovering it's the wrong fucking version. Grrr.... 17, 2011 3:30 PM

Kristin Stewart is a very good actress and having an all caucasian cast is not a big problem since it's an adaptation. Having said that they should probably change the name and the names of the characters. It doesn't make much sense to keep calling it Akira when it really isn't and having all the characters have Asian names when none of them are. It'd be like having an Asian adaptation of Superman and having all the Asian actors running around with names like Clark Kent and Lois Lane. A caucasian version of Akira is not Akira. I don't think I'm the only who thinks this and it's interesting that none of the big stars who have been offered roles have agreed to star in it yet. Sure, there's lots of talk about this film but it's all been pretty much negative and lots of negative press for anything is usually not very good. Akira isn't something to be tinkered with. Would they tinker with Superman, Batman, Captain America, etc.? Hollywood needs to wake up and realize that they can't just do whatever they want anymore. Audiences these days are far too intelligent.

SwarezNovember 17, 2011 4:43 PM

Well to be fair they've only mentioned two caucasian actors for two parts, Kaneda and Kei and I'm pretty sure the end group will be a rainbow gang. It would be smart to cast a japanese actor for the Akira role, just so the name makes sense. But sadly I can't name a single asian actor in the US, aside from John Cho maybe.

ThuyNovember 20, 2011 10:53 PM

What depressing news.

SwarezNovember 21, 2011 5:26 AM

We don't know if they plan to use the names. We only know that actors have been approached for the roles that are Kaneda and Kei in the original film. For all we know the film might not even be called Akira when it's finished.

NatsuNovember 23, 2011 5:07 AM

anime movies is serious business. if she screws it up... let's just keep it at that.