And fucking it up seems to be the goal. They've apparently brought on human space-filler Garett Hedlund to play Kaneda, and now Twitch reports they've offered a role to Kristen Stewart. My guess is that this will be a very subdued take on Akira; less 'TETSUOOOOOOOOOO!' and more 'tet.... suo? whatever'
Stewart, should she take the part, would be playing Kei, a psychic who is the love interest for Kaneda. It's not a big role in the source material, but if they're going after Stewart I imagine Kei is being beefed up. She's also pretty much the only woman in the story, so they would really need to beef the part up anyway.
I'm not a huge fan of Akira, but the reality is that this is material that needs a touch of the bold. There's nothing bold going on here right now. It's the same old names that the studios keep stuffing into the same old movies.