Now that AKIRA is officially underway, we're getting reports of casting for the various roles. Garrett Hedlund is in talks for Kaneda, and now TwitchFilm is reporting that Helena Bonham Carter is in talks to play Lady Miyako and Gary Oldman is in talks to play one of the film's pivotal characters, the Colonel.
I pictured someone a little bigger in mind physically for the Colonel, but Gary Oldman will do nicely. He definitely has the intensity. Lady Miyako had a larger role in the manga - in the anime she's only in a couple of crowd shots - so is it possible that Jaume Collet-Serra's film will draw more heavily from the manga? These names may just be the template names for the various roles for now, as I imagine with a Western cast like this we won't be keeping the Japanese names.
Although I'm not jazzed about Hedlund, Oldman and Bonham Cater are good actors. I imagine that Warners is very interested in keeping the fanbase somewhat happy in the casting, so this is a good start.