We know that Tron's Garret Hedlund is playing Kaneda in Warner's Americanized remake of the manga and anime classic Akira—and that names like Kristen Stewart and Ken Watanabe are being floated for other roles—but we've only just now got a real sense of how the story will change.
Here's the synopsis, according to a casting website called Acting Auditions:
Kaneda is a bar owner in Neo-Manhattan who is stunned when his brother, Tetsuo, is abducted by government agents led by The Colonel. Desperate to get his brother back, Kaneda agrees to join with Ky Reed and her underground movement who are intent on revealing to the world what truly happened to New York City thirty years ago when it was destroyed. Kaneda believes their theories to be ludicrous but after finding his brother again, is shocked when he displays telekinetic powers.
Ky believes Tetsuo is headed to release a young boy, Akira, who has taken control of Tetsuo's mind. Kaneda clashes with The Colonel's troops on his way to stop Tetsuo from releasing Akira but arrives too late. Akira soon emerges from his prison courtesy of Tetsuo as Kaneda races in to save his brother before Akira once again destroys Manhattan island, as he did thirty years ago.
Of course, these kinds of casting calls only give the most reduced versions of plots, but the fact that this doesn't mention anything about motorcycles is somewhat troubling.