According to a report from JoBlo, Keanu Reeves will apparently not be playing the lead role of Kaneda in Warner Bros. increasingly bizarre remake of the seminal 1988 anime film Akira. While most of us can probably agree that it's a good thing that now one less movie will have Keanu Reeves, it looks like there's really no way they're going to cast any actor that makes any sense in the role.
In case you haven't seen Akira, to put it extremely short and simply and spoiler-free it takes place in the city of Neo-Tokyo some years after regular Tokyo has been completely wiped out. Below is literally the first scene of the movie.
Yep, it's essentially a nuclear explosion that obliterates a Japanese city.
The remake's setting has been changed from Tokyo to New York. This is just a horrible idea for so many reasons. Akira is every bit as essentially Japanese as, say, Grave Of the Fireflies (the story of two young children struggling to survive in the weeks following the bombing of Hiroshima.) And I can't help but feel that a transplant of Akira's main setting will work out about as smoothly as if they did the same with that one. Tokyo and New York are not interchangeable in this scenario.
But now the production budget is increasing avery steadily. They've been unable to saddle a star with the international appeal they need to guarantee a worthwhile gross. They've fired the pre-viz team. This thing looks like it might be the next Superman Lives, in production for ages with nothing to show for it but millions of dollars flushed down the drain and an insane story for Kevin Smith to tell at his stage shows.
So hey, maybe at least they'll crap out their own Superman Returns out of this! Which is to say, a boring, supremely disappointing movie that few people saw and fewer liked.