Zac Efron in Akira? We're not surprised. Ever since Albert Hughes came on as director for the live-action adaptation of Akira, rumors of the studio demanding a more family friendly, PG-13 movie have followed. So why not cast Efron too?
Slashfilm is reporting from various sources that Zac Efron is "in talks" with the studio for a role in Warner Bros remake of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira. Granted, one source says is claiming that the entire thing is, "far from a done deal," but I think we all saw this film trending in this direction.
Back in June, Children of Men writers Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby's Akira script was shelved, in favor of a rewrite from Albert Torres, a writer whom we're not particularly familiar with. Days later Hughes started airing his gripes about pressure from the studio to make Akira a PG-13 film. Casting Efron seems like an easy way to appease the studios and get younger butts in the theater seats.
Even leaving aside the fact that yet another Asian character is reportedly being cast with a white actor — the movie takes place in Neo-New York, not Neo-Tokyo — we're not sure if Efron has the chops to pull this off. He was great in 17 Again — seriously, it's funny. But as the leader of Neo-New York's motorcycle gang The Capsules? We're not sure. Maybe all Efron needs is a meaty role like Kaneda to break into serious acting — or maybe it will be a disaster, who knows? A lot will probably depend on who gets cast as the psychic best friend, Tetsuo Shima.