Rumour: Zac Efron & Morgan Freeman in AKIRA?

Would Zac Efron leading the eventual live-action Akira movie, which finally this month looks to be gathering steam, put me off seeing it when it arrives sometime around 2013? Hmmm, maybe, but then I do feel like with Zac that we don't particularly despise him but the characters/movies he has so far been involved with. What might put me off the project more is the film taking place in a futuristic New York rather than Tokyo and that it'll be PG-13, watering down (or just plain chucking out) the more 'adult' themes of the original but then, this is Hollywood. Bloody Disgusting reported last week that Efron had been offered the lead role, and now they follow up with the claim that Morgan Freeman is circling the military Colonel supporting gig, a role in all honesty he could do in his sleep. They are the only website leaking news about Akira, which isn't so far helpful in finding out if there's anything legit to the stories. For those that don't know the landmark Japanese original, AICN have a nice breakdown;
In Akira, Katsuhiro Otomo presented a vision of Tokyo destroyed by war, rebuilt, and now ready to explode under the pressure of its internal strife. The movie's clashing biker gangs and heady psychic visions became an early testament to the violent, mature side of anime when the film was brought to North America in 1989.
Albert Hughes, co-director of From Hell and The Book of Eli will direct his first film without his brother collaborator, based on Albert Torres' (Henry Poole is Here) screenplay. Two movies are planned, one which covers the first three volumes, and the sequel that will adapt the other three. Production is being eyed up for 2011.

Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.