by Chris MaGee
What is the deal with Keanu Reeves? Okay, maybe that's not the question us Japanese film fans should be asking. More likely it's, what's with movie execs and their obsession with dropping Keanu Reeves into each and every potential Japanese remake? We are already expecting Reeves to head the cast of Universal Studios 3D version of the classic tale of the "47 Ronin", plus Reeves has long been attached to a live-action remake of Shinichiro Watanabe's sci-fi anime series "Cowboy Bebop". You'd think with a classic like "47 Ronin" and a modern phenomena like "Cowboy Bebop" that Reeves management would be satisfied, but according to a post over at Far East Films this week it looks like the "Matrix" star may be in line for another role in yet another unnecessary remake.
Apparently Reeves is in talks to star in the lead role of Albert Hughes live-action remake of Katsuhiro Otomo's seminal anime feature "Akira". Regular readers of the J-Film Pow-Wow will know that James Franco, Andrew Garfield, Michael Fassbender and even Robert Pattinson have been considered for the role of Kaneda, the leader of an urban bike gang in the futuristic New Tokyo... or in the case of this remake, New Manhattan (ugh...), but Keanu Reeves?! The logic may be that Warner Brothers, the studio that produced the wildly successful sci-fi "Matrix" trilogy figures that Reeves would be a perfect choice for another sci-fi epic. It helps that the "Matrix" directors, the Wachowski Brothers, openly acknowledged that they took great inspiration from anime, and especially "Akira", for their virtual cyberpunk universe. We understand that, but what is hard to grasp is how 46-year-old reeves is supposed to play a juvenile delinquent. Does anyone realize that "Akira" was about teenagers? Let's hope this is just another crazy rumour.