Zac Efron is lined up to play Shotaro Kaneda in Warner Bros’ live-action English language of classic Japanese anime based on manga comic, Akira, reports SlashFilm. Morgan Freeman has been offered the role of The Colonel, the head of a sinister government project in the original film and comic book series.
Akira was originally a 2,182-page manga epic which was adapted by director Katsuhiro Otomo into a two-hour film. The Hollywood version would transport the action from from Japan to the US. In Otomo’s film, the action takes place in Neo-Tokyo, a city built on an artificial island in Tokyo bay following the destruction of the original Tokyo in an explosion 30 years previously.
Akira is the name of a young boy whose powers led to the disaster. Kaneda, the role apparently snapped up by Efron, is a biker and gang leader who discovers that his childhood friend Tetsuo is developing similar destructive powers.