Akira lives! Again. Maybe. Warner Bros. is reviving its doomed live-action adaptation of the Akira manga, this time with some Marvel blood. THR reports that Marco J. Ramirez, who wrote on Season 1 of Marvel’s Netflix series Daredevil and was promoted to co-showrunner for Season 2, has been tapped to pen a new screenplay adaptation of Akira for Warner Bros. Ramirez worked on shows like Sons of Anarchy and Da Vinci’s Demons before joining the Daredevil team, and he wrote or co-wrote a number of the show’s key Season 1 episodes.
For those unfamiliar with Akira, the source material takes place in a post-nuclear apocalypse version of Tokyo and revolves around the rivalry between two young men, one of whom misuses his telekinetic abilities.
This project has been in development at Warner Bros. for a long time. Non-Stop and Unknown filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra came onboard in 2011 to direct with a cast that was to include Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, and Gary Oldman, but Warner Bros. halted pre-production before filming began to do more work on the script. The adaptation languished in development hell for a couple of years until Collet-Serra was brought back on in 2013 for a reworked version with a smaller budget. Then that version was shut down, once again due to casting, script, and budget issues.
We’ve heard bits and pieces about the previous versions over the years, with Toby Kebbell—who was up for Tetsuo—criticizing the studio’s direction and screenwriter Gary Whitta revealing his version took place in a Japanese-owned Manhattan. It’s unclear what Ramirez’s take on the material will entail or if this will finally be the iteration that moves forward, but it’s certainly clear that Warner Bros. really wants this thing to happen at one point or another.