Could James Franco play Kaneda in live-action Akira remake?

He could star for Albert Hughes

James Franco is rumoured to be in early talks to star as Kaneda in the live-action Akira remake.

This is firmly in the rumour file at the moment, as there have been no official casting announcements since Morgan Freeman's name was mentioned in connection with the Colonel.

While some suggest that Franco is too old to star as Kaneda, an impetuous teenager, there's no denying the actor has an extremely 'fresh' face, and could convince as much younger than his years.

This live-action version of the manga/anime classic will transpose the action from Tokyo to Manhattan, and counts Leonardo DiCaprio among its producers.

Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli) will be directing, but no cast members are locked in yet.

There's also talk of Franco starring in Oz, the Great and Powerful for Sam Raimi, and he has been lining up directorial projects of his own.

If there's any chance of him appearing in Akira it'll have to depend on the status of these ventures.

Franco has been nominated for an Oscar for his performance in 127 Hours, and he's also set to host the ceremony on 27 February.

Would Franco be a good Kaneda? Or are you against the remake full stop? Your thoughts please!


    • Frankie88

      Feb 12th 2011, 17:40

      I was really hoping that this wont be happening, but guess cogs are still turning. I liked and enjoyed Book of Eli (martial artist Denzel - are you kidding?) and think Hughes brothers are capable directors (I like me some style and action over substance), but this is how it'll go down: simplified and adopted for American audience, with general outline and light references to the source, which means those who'll like the movie are going to people who never heard of Akira before and watched as a stand-alone movie (like Astroboy or dreadful DragonBall).

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    • DonisFun

      Feb 12th 2011, 19:57

      @Frankie88 - Completely agree with you, the adapt has been floating around for years and I wished it had floated off, no disrespect for the Hughes Brothers but I think you couldn't pick much worse to do the film, someone like Timur Bekmambetov would be more suited. The scale of the film too is quite daunting and if they cut corners it will look c**p....just release the original in the cinema, i'd be much happier with that.

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    • Hadouken76

      Feb 12th 2011, 21:54

      I'd love to see Chris Nolan do a live-action Patlabor Movie, the cartoon themselves blend robo-smackdowns with philospohical character did a 5 minute speech on how 'Peace is just an absence of war' not something you'd find in a Micheal Bay movie!

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    • Ali1748

      Feb 13th 2011, 14:23

      No movie is safe from Hollywood's grubby hands, one day we will eventually click on here and see the title " Citizen Kane remake" :(

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    • KerrAvon

      Feb 14th 2011, 22:33

      In answer to your question. No He's a very capable actor but the film will be awful. Even the epic anime only covered 2 out of the 6 books and yet it still managed to work. An american version will inevitably adapt less and try to dish up a series of stylish scenes taken from the original.

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    • LiliElza26

      Feb 15th 2011, 12:13

      There obviously shouldn't be a live action remake, as the original Anime was already hard to understand with the complicated plot and twisted characters. If however there will be a remake, I wouldn't have high hopes for it. I think Franco would do a good job, but I don't really want to see him play Kaneda.

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