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The Warner Bros. lot is hopping these days, with not just Arthur & Lancelot rounding up its cast but the much-scrutinized adaptation of the Japanese classic Akira.
The $90 million movie, being directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan), is set in a place called New Manhattan and follows two brothers, one the leader of a motorcycle gang, the other a younger man with telekinetic abilities who becomes a dangerous weapon.
The Hollywood Reporter has already reported that Garret Hedlund will playing Kaneda, the gang leader, while Kristen Stewart has the offer to play Ky Reed, a woman who is part of an underground movement to expose the government for turning orphans into living weapons (she also may possess some abilities herself).
The big question now is who will play Tetsuo, the young man whose latent powers will release the powerful being known as Akira. Warners wants to have the question answered before Thanksgiving, with key screentests scheduled for Sunday and Monday.
Lining up to test are:
D.J. Cotrona (the Detroit 1-8-7 star who just wrapped the role of Flint in G.I.Joe 2: Retaliation), Logan Marshal Green (who appeared in the M. Night Shyamalan-produced Devil and will be seen in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus), Toby Kebbell (he caught the eyes of Warners execs with RocknRolla and is in War Horse), Richard Madden (Robb Stark in Game of Thrones), Rami Malek (appeared in The Pacific and has a supporting role in Twilight: Breaking Dawn—Part 2), and Michael Pitt (the breakout actor on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire).
Also retesting for the role are Paul Dano (Cowboys & Aliens) and Alden Ehrenreich (Tetro).
The actors are very much of the still-estasblishing-themselves stage of their careeer and are generally not known quantites. But most are also serious actors who garner praise for the indie work they do. The Tetsuo role would surely raise their profile within and outside the industry.
So who will be thankful this Thanksgiving?
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Jon M. Chu