After being the rumored frontrunner, actor Garrett Hedlund has officially been offered the role of Kaneda. I particularly like io9's headline, with a definitive take on the matter:
Garrett Hedlund offered lead role in Akira. Crap.
Meanwhile, this casting call recently went out for the lead role of "Yamagata," specifically looking for someone who is "Male, 20 to 30 years old, Japanese-American." So... one lead Asian role in this whitewashed mega movie disaster? Well I guess that fixes everything.
AKIRA (Additional Role)
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Writer: David James Kelly
Producers: Appian Way
Casting Director: Ronna Kress
Casting Assistant: Hannah dAngerio, Emma Sands Milsom
Start Date: March 2012
[ YAMAGATA ]
Male, 20 to 30 years old, Japanese American. (LEAD)
Is that it? One role for an Asian guy? And let's face it, not one of the central characters, and one that ends up -- spoiler! -- getting killed. Seems fitting, in some ways, considering the massive liberties they've taken with the source material. And fans are supposed to be happy they're throwing us a bone? (Thanks, Douglas.)