Early last year, Variety reported Warner Bros. was hard at work trying to adapt the ridiculously popular anime “Akira” into two live-action feature films. Rumors were everywhere that Leonardo DiCaprio and Joseph Gordon Levitt were going to star in the picture and it seemed like any moment we were going to read about production commencing.
It’s now September 2009 and…nothing. The “Akira” movie’s gone quiet and when that happens, it usually means a project is troubled or it’s in development hell. But thanks to a trusted source, I’ve got an update that should make fans anxious to see a big-screen “Akira” happy. You don’t need to expand you psychic field to find out what I know. Just hit the jump.
According to my source, screenwriters Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, guys whose work I like, are about to turn in their version of an “Akira” movie and the reason why the project has been so quiet is they’ve been hard at work trying to get the script right.
For those that aren’t familiar with their work, they wrote the amazing adaptation of “Children of Men” and they’re also credited with “Iron Man” (although a lot of that movie was written on the set). But my point still stands that I like their work and I’m happy they’re taking a crack at it.
Also, while I couldn’t get a lot of info about what changes are being made from the anime to make the feature film work, I did confirm the story is still set in post-apocalyptic Manhattan in the near future. I also confirmed the famous motorcycle is definitely a part of the film, but that bit of info shouldn’t surprise anyone.
From what I could gather, the movie is still a priority for the studio, and if the script meets with approval from key people, the movie could go into production in 2010 with a release date in 2011. Also, this isn’t going to be some mid-range budget movie. If the film goes into production, it’s going to be one of those BIG event movies.
Of course, everything I just wrote is based on a lot of factors, but that’s where the project currently stands. Anyone hoping for an “Akira” live-action movie should cross their fingers that Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby’s screenplay is great and everyone involved gets excited. I’ll have more on this story as I hear it.