This slipped under our radar this week, somehow, but knowing how AKIRA movie talk is a stripe of message board gristle that just never runs dry, there’s surely some discussion to still be had about this. See, Bleeding Cool’s found an official synopsis for the flick that went out with a recent casting call, and it reveals a few more of the changes coming with this “Neo-Manhattan” setting.
It thusly reads…
Kaneda is a bar owner in Neo-Manhattan who is stunned when his brother, Tetsuo, is abducted by government agents led by The Colonel.
Desperate to get his brother back, Kaneda agrees to join with Ky Reed and her underground movement who are intent on revealing to the world what truly happened to New York City thirty years ago when it was destroyed. Kaneda believes their theories to be ludicrous but after finding his brother again, is shocked when he displays telekinetic powers.
Ky believes Tetsuo is headed to release a young boy, Akira, who has taken control of Tetsuo’s mind. Kaneda clashes with The Colonel’s troops on his way to stop Tetsuo from releasing Akira but arrives too late. Akira soon emerges from his prison courtesy of Tetsuo as Kaneda races in to save his brother before Akira once again destroys Manhattan island, as he did thirty years ago.
In fairness, owning a bar might be one of the only viable career paths awaiting Kaneda after he puts his wild biker gang days behind him.
Curiously, it seems like Kristen Stewart, Garret Hedlund, Helena Bonham Carter and Ken Watanabe (this is the first time I’ve seen his name attached to the project) have been locked into the respective roles of Ky, Kaneda, Lady Miyako and the Colonel.
Of course, there's no official announcement yet, and I feel like a lot of these names have to be placeholders waiting to be swapped with whatever Anglicized alternatives they’ll have to come up. I suppose you can have Hedlund take over Kaneda's role, and for it to be re-written to better suit him, but it would be really... weird to still call him "Kaneda," you know?