The Akira live-action film seems to be moving along with Tron: Legacy's Garret Hedlund all but certain to lock down the role of cyberpunk rebel, Kaneda. While casting rumors are springing up in mass for this film, the strongest of those rumors point to two candidates for the role of Kaneda's friend-turned-rival, Tetsuo.
The names of (pictured left to right) Ezra Miller (Royal Pains, The Perks of Being a Wallflower) and Alden Ehrenreich (Stoker, Tetro) have been identified as being in line to play the dangerous telekinetic terrorist with plans to release the city-destroying esper, Akira from his cryonic captivity.
The early word, is that the context of Tetsuo's character will be changed so that he will actually be Kaneda's younger brother.
The news comes just as rumors of the casting of Gary Oldman and Helena Bonham Carter appear to be holding strong to add some established weight to the cast. In keeping with that same idea, the name of Keira Knightley is also being floated around. (Although there is no substantive backing as of yet.)
The fans have clearly spoken against the apparent westernization of the innately-Japanese story, so it will be interesting to see how things are changed around in director, Jaume Collet-Serra's re-worked adaptation of the groundbreaking Japanese manga and anime film. -- Especially with two presumably Caucasian characters named "Kaneda" and "Tetsuo."
At the end of the day, fans may be able to hang their hopes not only the possibility of a solid cast, but on the idea that Collet-Serra is a replacement director (after Albert Hughes' exit) and the Orphan and House of Wax director may have a different vision for the film than what we've been previously hearing.