A couple of weeks ago we reported that Gary Oldman had been offered the role of a colonel in the planned live-action version of Akira. Now it appears he’s turned down the part (or at least a deal couldn’t be made) as Twitch reports that Ken Watanabe has been offered the part instead.
The Colonel is essentially the bad guy, who runs a series of government experiments designed to unleash latent paranormal powers that certain people possess. The movie will follow Kaneda as he tries to rescue his friend Tetsuo from those experiments.
Hopefully Watanabe will sign on, as despite the Japanese origins of the manga and anime, so far everyone rumoured for the film – including Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Keira Knightley, Paul Dano, Michael Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter – have been resolutely white.
Watanabe is one of the few Japanese actors who’s known internationally (thanks to the likes of Last Samurai and Inception), so he’d make a welcome addition to the cast.
Jaume Collet-Serra will direct, with shooting rumoured for early next year.
General movie news courtesy of Movie Muser