I’ve been pretty down on Warners’ Akira remake ever since it was first announced, and to be honest nothing I’ve heard since has given me much reason to turn my frown upside down. Garret Hedlund of TRON: Legacy is very close to becoming the lead, and Twitch is reporting that Kristen Stewart of the Twilight films is close to joining the cast.
Stewart will portray Kei, Hedlund’s love interest who happens to have slight psychic abilities. In the original Akira Kei was a slight character, not mattering much in the grand scheme of things. But if the filmmakers are getting Stewart, a hot young actress fresh off one of the biggest money making franchises this past decade, then we can all assume Kei has got a much bigger role to play in the American version.
I’ve only seen the first Twilight film, but I can give Stewart props for her performances in Panic Room and Adventureland. The trick with her is a need to really light a fire under her so her screen presence can come across. It seems the same goes for Hedlund. Hopefully the producers of Akira can get the urgency across and they’ll change my mind (and the minds of many many fans) about this.