Hollywood Reporter also noted that Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy, Country Strong, Friday Night Lights) is in negotiations with Warner Bros. for the role of Kaneda. The entertainment trade magazine Variety reported last month that Hedlund was a frontrunner for one of Akira's two male leads, but both the movie studio Warner Bros. and the director it hired, Jaume Collett-Serra (Unknown, Orphan, House of Wax) could not make an offer to the actor until the film had been green-lit.
The Twitch entertainment news site reported last month that Gary Oldman (Sid and Nancy, Harry Potter films, Dark Knight trilogy) and Helena Bonham-Carter (A Room with a View, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, The King's Speech) had been offered the roles of Colonel and Lady Miyako, respectively. Hollywood Reporter noted that so far only Hedlund has engaged Warner Bros. in negotiations.
Variety reported that production on the live-action film adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira manga is set to begin in late February or early March. According to the magazine, the film's current story goes as follows: "Set in New Manhattan, the cyberpunk sci-fi epic follows the leader of a biker gang who must save his friend, discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments."