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Akira” remake gets greenlit, eyes “Tron Legacy” star Garrett Hedlund for lead role

Akira” remake gets greenlit, eyes “Tron Legacy” star Garrett Hedlund for lead role (photo)

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A live-action version of “Akira” is officially headed to the big screen. After a long, long time spent in development, the Hollywood adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s acclaimed anime finally got the green light from Warner Bros. Variety is reporting that the movie finally has locked down a director, and is close to landing its leading man as well.

Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra is the lucky man who got the job of helming the $90 million film. He is best known for his horror movies “Orphan,” “Unknown” and “House of Wax.” “Akira” isn’t a horror flick per-se, but that type of storytelling can definitely be applied to its apocalyptic and pessimistic themes. The $90 million budget isn’t much, though, so the film will probably be told on a grittier and smaller scale than the 1988 anime.

“Tron: Legacy” star Garrett Hedlund is the frontrunner to play the movie’s main character, Shotaro Kaneda. Kaneda is the head of a biker gang who ends up having to prevent his best friend, a biker with psychic powers named Tetsuo Shima, from unleashing an uncontrollable, destructive power on the world. Variety said that everyone from Keanu Reeves and Brad Pitt to Leonardo DiCaprio and James Franco have been considered for the role of Kaneda, but the “On the Road” star eventually won out because he came at a cheaper price tag. His participation isn’t confirmed yet, but insiders say it’s only a matter of time.

There’s no word yet on when “Akira” will be headed in front of the cameras, but it likely won’t be ready to hit theaters until 2013 or 2014. It will be interesting to see who Collet-Serra casts opposite Hedlund — if he gets the role — as Tetsuo, and how the American adaptation of this classic Japanese film gets tinkered with.

Are you glad an “Akira” live-action film is being made? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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