Morgan Freeman "Circling" Akira Adaptation
11.08.10 by BJSprecher
Either progress really is being made on putting together a cast for Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way-developed big screen adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira manga ("comic book") series or rumors about the movie run in pairs. DiCaprio has been working on Akira since 2008, but has made little progress. After hiring four different writers to adapt the six-volume series, and a pair of directors in Albert and Allen Hughes (The Book of Eli), Akira seemed to have stalled out over script and budget concerns. However, this past weekend, two different entertainment news sites linked Zac Efron (Charlie St. Cloud) to a lead role in the movie, and now Academy Award-winner Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby) has also been mentioned in connection with another major role.
The Efron rumor was first reported by /Film last Friday, and BloodyDisgusting (BD) reported that same day that Efron had been offered an unspecified leading role in the movie. According to the latest from BD, while trying to verify the Efron story, it was revealed that Freeman was circling the role of the Colonel in the movie. In Otomo's 2,182-page manga epic, Colonel Shikishima—often referred to simply as "The Colonel" or "The Skinhead" by the main protagonist in the series, Shotaro Kaneda, because of his characteristic wedge-cut mohawk—is the man
responsible for the secret underground government facility where the powerful psychic entity known as Akira is kept in cryogenic storage. The Colonel conducts research on three powerful psychics called "The Espers" and is Neo-Tokyo's last line of defense against Akira once the god in the form of a small boy escapes.
BD also reported that the producers of Akira are aiming to go into production on the adaptation in 2011.