James Franco is in talks to play Kaneda in the live action film adaptation of Akira, according to JustJared.
Akira will be based on Katsuhiro Otomo’s six-volume cyberpunk manga, which was already adapted into a cult classic anime film in Japan. The story will be set in “New Manhattan”, where the leader of a biker gang saves his friend from a medical experiment.
Warner Bros. has tapped director Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli) to helm the project, with Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company Appian Way.
Franco, who is co-hosting the Academy Awards later this month with Anne Hathaway, also has the opportunity to replace Robert Downey, Jr. as the Wizard of Oz in the upcoming Disney movie Oz: The Great and Powerful. Director Sam Raimi will helm the Wizard of Oz prequel, which is based on L. Frank Baum’s classic books.