The live action Akira was in the news again last week. Now we have Keanu Reeves to add to the miles long casting rumor list that has circulated for the past three years. This list has gone from Leonardo DiCaprio and Joseph Godon Levitt (actors who I would have been a bit happier with because they're actually talented), to Justin Timberlake and Robert Pattinson, and now to Keanu Reeves (who is currently in talks to play Kaneda). The Hollywood Reporter, who published this story along with news that Albert Hughes (From Hell, The Book of Eli, Dead Presidents) will be directing the project, wrote that this film will be an adaptation to NYC from "Neon Tokyo." Yep, Hollywood totally has their source material together for this film...
Sure, Keanu Reeves, why not? If the writing and direction turn out to be better than I expect then he could actually make Kaneda seem a bit more believable than any of the other actors recently rumored to touch the script (other than Levitt, of course, he's a great actor and I'm sure he didn't want anything to do with this most-likely terrible script.). At least the project won't end up with Justin Timberlake and Robert Pattinson in the leading roles. I had been imagining the following exchange in my head for the last few weeks if they actually were put into this train wreck of a production:
This script has been passed around so many times that I'm starting to wonder if it's worse than I've ever possibly imagined. When I posted a few weeks ago about the upcoming live action Akira I had already pretty much given up on it being any good. But hey, maybe Hollywood will suprise me. Maybe they'll hire some consultants from the original animated film from Japan, bring them over and ask them for their advice. Maybe they'll consult the creator of Akira, Katsuhiro Otomo, and actually get some real insight as to what he imagines in a live action adaptation in New York City. Maybe they'll throw away this crappy script that nobody wants to accept and just re-write it with the original creation in mind?
Or maybe it will look something like this animated production from Harry Partridge:
Hey, at least Reeves can ride a motorcycle. Check out this photo of him riding in California. It just screams "I am so totally the leader of a bike gang! Watch out Neo New York City! I'm a total badass!"
But wait, wasn't Reeves rumored to be involved in a live action Cowboy Beebop adaptation? Whatever happened to that? I've seen rumors around the internet that the project was (thankfully) scrapped since it didn't have enough support, but there's not much concrete news to confirm or deny that the Cowboy Beebop live action film even made it past the idea stages. Oh, and did I forget to mention that Tetsuo and Kaneda are supposed to be teenagers? Why is the rumored casting list so much older? Have they scrapped the original characters altogether in favor of something completely different? Make up your mind Hollywood! (And tell me enough in advance so I can mentally prepare myself for whatever it is you're doing to all these anime properties.)
Well, I'm out of ideas. If any of you think you know what the new Akira film will actually be about, leave your thoughts in the comments field. In the meantime, I'll just keep dreaming for something like this to happen: