Could James Franco play Kaneda in live-action Akira remake?

J ames Franco is rumoured to be in early talks to star as Kaneda in the live-action Akira remake.

This is firmly in the rumour file at the moment, as there have been no official casting announcements since Morgan Freeman's name was mentioned in connection with the Colonel.

While some suggest that Franco is too old to star as Kaneda, an impetuous teenager, there's no denying the actor has an extremely 'fresh' face, and could convince as much younger than his years.

This live-action version of the manga/anime classic will transpose the action from Tokyo to Manhattan, and counts Leonardo DiCaprio among its producers.

Albert Hughes ( The Book of Eli ) will be directing, but no cast members are locked in yet.

There's also talk of Franco starring in Oz, the Great and Powerful for Sam Raimi, and he has been lining up directorial projects of his own.

If there's any chance of him appearing in Akira it'll have to depend on the status of these ventures.

Franco has been nominated for an Oscar for his performance in 127 Hours , and he's also set to host the ceremony on 27 February.

Matt Maytum
Editor, Total Film

I'm the Editor at Total Film magazine, overseeing the running of the mag, and generally obsessing over all things Nolan, Kubrick and Pixar. Over the past decade I've worked in various roles for TF online and in print, including at GamesRadar+, and you can often hear me nattering on the Inside Total Film podcast. Bucket-list-ticking career highlights have included reporting from the set of Tenet and Avengers: Infinity War, as well as covering Comic-Con, TIFF and the Sundance Film Festival.