'Akira' Gets New Writer, Almost Got Brad Pitt and Mila Kunis?

February 18, 2011

akira.jpg

Remember back when Leonardo DiCaprio and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were going to play the leads in an adaptation of the Akira manga/anime? Boy, that was sure dumb. They aren't teenagers at all! They were sure going to mess up that Japanese cartoon you like so much!

Well, that was only the beginning, it turns out. Now that DiCaprio and JGL decided to instead do some incepting, Warner is looking for a new big name to fill the marquee, and reportedly approached 47-year-old Brad Pitt to play the film's young motorcycle enthusiast, Kaneda. Pitt, sensibly, decided that was not something Brad Pitt should do, and so the studio's search is still on to find someone way-too-old to headline this thing. I sure don't know Nic Cage to turn down a paycheck, guys.

Also in Akira casting news: Mila Kunis, who was previously attached to play an anti-government revolutionary named Kei, has apparently dropped out of the film. She'll instead join James Franco--who was also once discussed to front the anime adaptation--on Sam Raimi's Oz, the Great and Powerful. Sounds like Raimi's party is the one with the beer, dudes. Metaphorically.

Meanwhile, Book of Eli directors the Hughes Brothers are still expected to direct this bad idea, and to help with that, Steve Kloves has begun work polishing the latest version of the script. Kloves has a proven record for handling big-budget, teen-focused adventure, having adapted seven of the eight Harry Potter books for the screen. Now I guess we'll see if he can do the same when the teens are apparently being played by some middle-aged dudes.

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