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“Akira” loses Gary Oldman, offers part to Ken Watanabe

“Akira” loses Gary Oldman, offers part to Ken Watanabe (photo)

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As the casting process for “Akira” narrows down its search for its lead actors, there are some change-ups already occurring. Gary Oldman had previously been eyed to play The Colonel in the upcoming adaptation of the 1988 cult anime, but hadn’t signed on officially. New reports now say that he’s off the part, though Warner Bros has a potential replacement lined up already.

Twitch is reporting that the studio is looking to Ken Watanabe to replace Oldman as the military commander in “Akira.” They’ve offered him the part, and are now just waiting to hear back confirmation. Watanabe is one of the best-known Japanese actors in Hollywood, and thus would be a good fit for the role.

So far, the only actor who is pretty much confirmed for the flick is Garrett Hedlund as Kaneda. Offers are also out to Kristen Stewart to play Kei and Helena Bonham-Carter to play Miyako. Warner Bros is narrowing down their search for main character Tetsuo with a list of actors including Richard Madden, Paul Dano and Michael Pitt.

“Akira” follows the story of a boy named Tetsuo who discovers his latent psychic powers in a post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo (Manhattan, for the sake of the movie). It’s up to his friend Kaneda, a leader of a biker gang, and a group of other people to stop Tetsuo from unleashing a terrible power on Earth.

The film is being directed by “Orphan” helmer Jaume Collet-Serra, and was written by “Harry Potter” scribe Steve Kloves. Filming is set to start in the spring.

Do you think Watanabe would be a good fit for the role? 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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