Some brief casting descriptions have surfaced for Taika Waititi‘s live-action adaptation of ‘Akira’, which may offer some insights into how the auteur plans to approach the project.  As is typical, fake names are given, but anyone that’s seen the anime should be able to figure out who these characters really are.


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For the male lead, “Jun,” Waititi and his crew are seeking an Asian male, aged 18-24.

Male, to play Japanese, English speaking. Must be legal 18-20’s to play 18: Sharp-eyed, sinewy, tough, handsome, cool. He is the leader of a street gang of teenagers & knows how to have a good time. JUN should not be too cool or too tough. He’s a scrappy, ragtag kid who’s not worried about anything. Your weird, natural authentic self is encouraged!

Clearly, this is a call for Kaneda.

For the other male lead, “Koichi” another Asian between the ages of 18-24 is being sought.

Male, to play Japanese, English speaking. Must be legal 18-20’s to play 17: Constantly forced to punch up in order to survive. He’s fearless to the point of recklessness. He is haunted by the loss of a loved one. 

This is obviously a description of Tetsuo.  It was previously rumored that in the film, Kaneda and Tetsuo would be brothers, deviating from the source in which they were just best friends.  But that rumor stemmed from before Waititi signed on, so he may have tossed out that idea.

Finally, we have the female lead, “Misa.”  For her role, the casting directors are casting a slightly wider net, seeking an Asian female between the ages of 18-30.

Female, to play Japanese, English speaking. Must be legal 18-30: Beautiful, intelligent, strong-willed. She is a member of an anti-government organization trying to save her city.

This appears to be the description for Kaori.

‘Akira’ arrives via Warner Brothers, who have scheduled the movie to be released on May 21, 2021.  It is currently due to face off against Summit Entertainment’s ‘John Wick 4’.

When a young man’s telekinesis is discovered by the military, he is taken in to be turned into a super weapon and his brother nuts race to save him before Manhattan is destroyed by his powers. Kaneda is a bar owner in Neo-Manhattan who is stunned when his brother Tetsuo is abducted by Government agents lead by the Colonel. Desperate to get his brother back, Kaneda agrees to join Ky Reed and her underground movement who are intent on revealing to the world what truly happened to New York City 30 years ago when it was destroyed. Kaneda believes their theories to be ludicrous, but after facing his brother again is shocked when he displays telekinetic powers. Ky believes Tetsuo is headed to release a young boy. Akira, who has taken control of Tetsuo’s mind, Kaneda clashes with the Colonel’s troops on his way to stop Tetsuo from releasing Akira but arrives too late. Akira soon emerges from his prison courtesy of Tetsuo as Kaneda races to save his brother before Akira once again destroys Manhattan island as he did thirty years ago.

Do you think these casting descriptions do justice to the source material?


Source: Backstage.com