Zac Efron to Star in Live-Action AKIRA Movie?
This is very hopefully just a crap Internet rumor socially engineered to enrage us; if so, mission accomplished. Zac Efron, the Tiger Beat fixture who starred in High School Musical, has supposedly been “offered the LEAD role in Allen and Albert Hughes’ AKIRA adaptation.”
The prospect of a live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo‘s groundbreaking 1988 dystopian sci-fi anime, in turn based on Otomo’s awesome, sprawling manga, already had a lot of fans nervous; this hardly helps.
Fans have super-prematurely but maybe accurately compared the prospect of a live-action AKIRA starring Efron as cyberpunk protagonist Shotaro Kaneda to the massive pit of ruination that was the live-action Dragonball movie. This is not simply a matter of hating on Zac Efron for being Zac Efron because why do all the girls at high school have crushes on him instead of me, although there’s also that; rather, he just wouldn’t make sense for the part, whatever his merits as an actor. Topless Robot’s Rob Bricken nails it:
When there were rumors that he was going to get the role of Light in a Death Note movie, I thought he could’ve been good casting, because he brings with him such a goody goody, Disney-sanctified, pretty boy persona that would actually serve the role of Light well.
That said, you know what I’m reasonably certain Efron can’t play? A punk or a thug, two things the role of Kaneda (or Nathan or Jimmy Bob or whatever) very much is. He’s a fucking delinquent who gets into motorcycle fights to the death with other gangs.
I HAVE MY DOUBTS THIS IS SOMETHING ZAC EFRON CAN EFFECTIVELY PORTRAY.
FWIW, Slashfilm reports that ‘one source tells me Efron is in talks, while another says that it is “far from a done deal.'”
Maybe instead Efron could play one of those weird shriveled-up kids with the psychokinetic powers, only dreamier?