James Franco in Talks to Star in Live-Action 'Akira'by: Posted:
James Franco might be a robot. The guy is already in talks for roles in the upcoming Linda Lovelace biopic and Sam Raimi's "Oz, the Great and Powerful", he's returning to "General Hospital", he's hosting the Oscars soon (and nominated as well), and on top of it all he's a grad student studying for a Masters in English. It's a wonder he hasn't passed out from exhaustion.
Now, Franco is in talks to star in the upcoming live-action adaptation of the classic animé movie "Akira". The film recently gained a director--scratch that, "directors"--in the Hughes brothers. Albert and Allen Hughes are best known for directing "From Hell", "Dead Presidents" and most recently "The Book of Eli".
Franco would be playing the lead in "Akira", which tells the story of a young biker living in the futuristic, post-apocalyptic New Manhattan (changed from the original Neo-Tokyo) who must prevent the city from being destroyed again. He looks the part, but the role seems to be a departure from his usual laid-back style. In any case, it will add yet another type of role to Franco's already eclectic resumé, as he has done everything from stoner comedies ("Pineapple Express") to comic book villains ("Spider-Man 3") to Oscar-nominated drama ("127 Hours"). Even taking the Spider-Man movies into consideration, this might end up being the most action-packed and effects-heavy project yet for Franco.
Whether Franco will be able to juggle all the roles for which he is being considered depends on shooting schedules, but it looks as though he will have to pass on at least one of these projects. So, will he be Oz, or the American version of Kaneda? Will he have a part in "Lovelace"?
Hopefully, once all is said and done and Franco has his degree, wraps filming, and finished his hosting jobs and soap opera arc, the guy will take a vacation!