By Arturo R. García
By now, the Akira live-action adaptation is threatening to turn into the Spider-Man musical of ill-advised Americanizations. Not only has Legendary Pictures, which was supposed to co-finance the two-film project with Warner Brothers, reportedly ended its’ involvement, but WB President Jeff Rubinov, either too desperate or too myopic to care about fans’ casting concerns, allegedly personally offered the lead role of Kaneda to 46-year-old Keanu Reeves.
This isn’t the first time Reeves has been connected to a movie based on an iconic Japanese story; for a couple of years, he was reportedly up for the part of Spike Spiegel in a Cowboy Bebop adaptation. But what would have happened if somebody – somebody with access to, let’s say, a certain time-traveling phone-booth – had enabled Reeves to play Kaneda, the teen anti-hero, when he truly looked the part? How would the news clippings from those pre-Internet days have read? As the great Vin Scully likes to say, the saddest words of tongue and pen are these:
What might have been …