Robert Pattinson, Justin Timberlake wanted for live-action “Akira”

By Sean O’Connell A live-action version of the classic anime adventure “Akira” appears to be moving forward at Warner Bros., with two recent advancements in the development stage.

For starters, Steve Kloves (the “Harry Potter” series) reportedly has been brought in to punch up an existing script, which is loosely based on Katsuhiro Otomo’s manga series that ran from 1982 to 1990, Deadline reports.

In addition, the studio has a short list of actors it would like to see play two leads Tetsuo and Kaneda. Deadlines states that Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield and James McAvoy are in the running to play Tetsuo, while Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake and Joaquin Phoenix are being considered for Kaneda.

“The two leads are expected to come from that group of actors,” Mike Fleming writes.

The location of the story also appears to be shifting from Tokyo to a rebuilt New Manhattan, where Tetsuo and Kaneda run with a motorcycle group that encounters all levels of danger.

Albert Hughes, one half of the Hughes Brothers, is on board to direct “Akira” at this moment.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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