Warner Bros. has hired Harry Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves to do a polish on the script for the Hughes Brothers’ adaptation of the Japanese manga Akira. For those unfamiliar with the manga and the 1988 anime adaptation, the story centers on teenager Shōtarō Kaneda and his quest to stop his friend Tetsuo from destroying Neo-Tokyo. Per Variety, “the latest version of the script was penned by Albert Torres (Henry Poole Is Here), with earlier drafts by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby and Gary Whitta.” The problem is that “polish” is a very flexible word when it comes to script work and there aren’t any details on what Kloves’ polish will entail. However, since Kloves has done strong work on the Harry Potter films (he wrote all of them except for Order of the Phoenix), he seems like the right guy to take a crack at helping to condense the six-volume manga into a live-action feature film.
As we reported yesterday, Warner Bros. won’t greenlight the film until they can attach a major star to play Kaneda. Strangely, Vulture’s story said that Warners was courting Brad Pitt for Kaneda (he passed on the role), which could mean that the script has re-tooled the character to be significantly older.