class=”alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-31206″ title=”Charlie St Cloud – Zac Efron” src=”×150.jpg” alt=”” width=”220″ height=”150″ />Zac Efron’s pursuit of credibility could take him to World War III damaged Neo-Tokyo, says Slash Film. With Me and Orson Welles and The Life and Death of Charlie St. Cloud demonstrating the High School Musical star’s acting chops to much acclaim, the news that the young heartthrob might star in a live action remake of Akira doesn’t come as such a travesty as it might have only two years ago.

Being developed at Warner Bros. through Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way – not, thankfully, Efron’s own Ninjas Runnin’ Wild production company – Akira will retell the classic 1998 Japanese cyper-punk anime for Western audiences. Splitting the action over two movies, Albert Hughes has spent the last seven months conceptualising the films he will eventually direct.

While DiCaprio was initially believed to be in line to star as motorcycle gang leader Kaneda, the rumour-mill is suggesting that manga affictionado Efron might be attached to the role instead.

Akira follows Kaneda and his fellow Capsule gang members as they react to the burgeoning psychic powers of best friend Tetsuo. If cast, this will constitute the most action packed thing the actor has done.

While the original film’s second half differed substantially from that of the manga, largely due to pacing and running time issues, splitting the story over two movies might allow for a more faithful adaptation. With the original’s animation heralded as some of the best of its kind, it will take something fairly special to justify a live-action retelling.

As for the potential casting of Efron, feel free to mouth off below.