Ken Watanabe offered role in Akira

Approached to play part initially offered to Gary Oldman

Inception star Ken Watanabe has reportedly been approached to join the cast of the upcoming Akira remake, and intriguingly, it appears he has been offered the same part that was initially earmarked for Gary Oldman.

According to Twitch, Watanabe is in line to play The Colonel, a government official charged with harnessing the psychokinetic powers of wayward teen Tetsuo.

Whilst Oldman recently confirmed to Collider that he had indeed received an offer for Warner Bros, that proposition has been on the table for some time now, and it would seem that the studio have lost patience with the star’s indecision.

The news comes hot on the tail of last week’s revelation that several actors have been screen-tested for the role of Tetsuo, including Toby Kebell and Paul Dano. Meanwhile, offers are still out to Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart and Helena Bonham Carter.

Plenty of rumours then, but Warner have still to nail anyone down for definite. With the project long having lingered under a black cloud of production problems, we’d question the need to rake over the anime classic in the first place. Then again, Hollywood does love a remake…

Is Watanabe a good fit for Akira? Would you rather have seen Oldman play the role? Tell us, below.


    • shasmo

      Nov 23rd 2011, 10:32

      hes a better fit but please dont let this get made gary oldman would be better as the colonels boss a corrupt politician whos name i cant remember but hes weasely

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    • ferrns

      Nov 23rd 2011, 13:05

      Watanabe is visually a better fit for the Colonel, but Oldman is fantastic. If he can deliver a tenacious performance like in Leon or The Fifth Element then I think he'd be great. Speaking of which, it would be interesting to see what Luc Besson could do with Akira.

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    • shasmo

      Nov 24th 2011, 13:46

      i agree about gary oldman an luc besson would be a good director for this IFit has to be made or chris cunningham maybe as his music videos are insanely good

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