Kristen Stewart is in advanced talks for the female lead Kei in director Jaume Collet-Serra’s epic Akira, based on Katsuhiro Otomo’s six-volume graphic novel. Twitchfilm reported midday Tuesday that Stewart had been offered the part. She would join Garrett Hedlund, who has the male lead Keneda. Gary Oldman will play the Colonel. Akira has been a high priority for Warner Bros ever since the studio acquired it with Legendary Pictures two years ago from manga publisher Kodansha. The intention has been to make two films, each covering three books in the series. Akira was first adapted for the screen in 1988. Stewart Andrew Lazar is producing with Appian Way’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran.
EXCLUSIVE: The twists and turns on the Warner Bros adaptation of anime artist Katsuhiro Otomo’s graphic novel Akira continue. Director Albert Hughes is exiting the movie, I’m told. Insiders say that it is an amicable creative differences parting of the ways. Warner Bros will try to put him on another movie right away (Hughes and his brother Allen directed the hit The Book of Eli, and WB topper Jeff Robinov is their former agent and is very close with them). Hughes is coming to Hollywood next week to take meetings with his WME reps and look at scripts, hoping to find his next movie at Warner Bros.
As for Akira, the intention of the studio is to keep the picture on a fast track, which means they will find a director quickly. The studio has been wrestling with the approach on the film for the past year.