Ken Watanabe offered role turned down by Gary Oldman . . .
It may be a live action remake of a Japanese anime classic, but the action for the planned Akira movie has been moved from futuristic New Tokyo to New Manhattan. Not only that, but thus far not a single Japanese actor has been approached for a role. Until now.
Ken Watanabe, the 52-year-old actor who appeared in the likes of Last Samurai, Letters from Iwo Jima as well as Batman Begins and Inception, has been approached for the role of the Colonel who runs the military experiments on Tetsuo. The hero of the piece is a leader of a motorbike gang named Kaneda, played by Garrett Hedlund (Tron Legacy) in the remake, who has to rescue his friend Tetsuo from these experiments.
Gary Oldman has been offered the role of the Colonel previously. Twilight actress Kristen Stewart has also been offered a major role in the remake but it is unknown as yet whether she has accepted the role or not.
French advertisement director Jaume Collet-Serra will be directing the Akira remake. A 2013 release date is likely.