While a live-action adaptation of the manga/anime Akira has been in the works for a few years, the film actually looked like it would finally come to fruition until Warner Bros. put a halt on production to further develop the script and lower the budget. Producers Jennifer Kiloran Davisson and Andrew Lazar, and director Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) are currently working to make those changes, but it’s been a few months and we haven’t heard much movement on the project. Garrett Hedlund was set as the lead and Kristen Stewart, Helena Bonham Carter, and Ken Watanabe were in various stages of negotiations before the studio had second thoughts. However, today some nifty concept artwork made its way online from a previous incarnation of the live-action adaptation. The storyboards are from when Ruairi Robinson was attached to the project and they give us an idea of what his version of Akira would have looked like.
Hit the jump to check out the concept artwork.
A post-apocalyptic war torn neo-Tokyo, Greek statues come to chorus girl dancing life, a psychedelic Snow White with a sprinkling of Bambi fetishism and some hard-core erotic and amusing (are the two ever mutually exclusive?) Spanish shorts.
This past week, the Regent Showcase hosted the 3rd Annual Los Angeles Animation Film Festival. The four-day fest boasted 35mm screenings of The Iron Giant, Fantastic Planet, Gulliver’s Travels, Team America, Grave of the Fireflies and honoree Bill Plympton’s The Tune, amongst many others. For a full rundown of just what screened and when, might I direct you to the festival’s website. For the day one highlights – which included a screening of Akira and a bunch of X-rated shorts, hit the jump.
Animation lovers will want to get to Los Angeles by Wednesday, March 7th and plan on staying until Sunday, March 11th for the 3rd annual Los Angeles Animation Festival. Events will include: the West Coast premiere of A Monster in Paris, a cast and crew screening of The Iron Giant, a return to the screen for Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s Team America: World Police and a 10th anniversary screening of Shrek, honoring its win for the first Oscar for Animated Feature. The festival will also screen the classic animated film, Akira, on the big screen and will honor veteran animator, Bill Plympton. Hit the jump for the full press release and a teaser trailer for the festival.
Studios have been trying to get the most bang for their buck when it comes to their blockbusters. The Lone Ranger had to wrangle for a lower budget, and Paradise Lost, and The Dark Tower have been put into limbo as studios try to figure out how to bring down costs. THR reports that Warner Bros. has put their adaptation of the manga/anime Akira on hold as they try to figure out how to re-work the script to lower the budget. Producers Jennifer Kiloran Davisson and Andrew Lazar, and director Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) are trying to make the necessary changes, and Steve Kloves (Harry Potter) may be brought back to do another re-write after already having done one a year ago.
Hit the jump for more including a few updates.
Opening in limited release this weekend is director Tomas Alfredson’s (Let the Right One In) great new movie, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Based on the 1974 British novel by John le Carre, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is the first novel of the “Karla Trilogy” and the first film installment that may spawn a franchise. The spy thriller features Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Colin Firth, and Benedict Cumberbatch, just to name a few. Set during the Cold War era, the story follows former spy George Smiley (Oldman) through his investigation of a possible double agent within MI-6. It’s a hell of a movie and one you should definitely see.
Anyway, I was recently able to speak with most of the cast at the New York City press junket. During my interview with Oldman, we talked about how he found Smiley’s glasses (it was a very important part of finding the character), what’s his karaoke song, the rumors that he might be doing Akira, and working with the IMAX cameras on The Dark Knight Rises. Hit the jump to watch.
It’s been difficult to pin down what the Jaume Collet-Serra‘s adaptation of Akira will be about since the property was originally a manga before it was turned into an anime, and so there are two different sources for Steve Kloves‘ screenplay. We knew that the movie would change the post-apocalyptic setting from “Neo-Tokyo” to “Neo-Manhattan”, but now a full synopsis for the film has possibly leaked online. Hit the jump to find out what’s going down in the live-action adaptation and how the new movie has drastically changed the protagonist’s profession.
Although Gary Oldman recently confirmed that he had been approached to play The Colonel in Jaume Collet-Serra’s Akira, we’re now hearing from Twitch that the role has been offered to Ken Watanabe (Inception). While this move should silence some of the critics who claimed the production was “white-washing” the cast, the deal is still in the offer stage and nothing has been confirmed. However, since the studio was testing actors for the role of Tetsuo earlier this week, we may have some confirmed casting news for you soon.
Akira, the adaptation of the 1980s manga by Katsuhiro Otomo and the 1988 classic anime film by the same name, has Garret Hedlund (TRON: Legacy) and Kristen Stewart in talks to play Kaneda and Kei respectively. Hit the jump for more on the project.
Gary Oldman is one of the more versatile actors working today, so it makes sense that he’s a pretty in demand guy. One of the roles he’s currently being courted for is Jaume Collet-Sera’s adaptation of the manga/anime Akira. The Warner Bros. production is a top priority, and they recently found their male and female leads in Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy) and Kristen Stewart. Word was that the studio wants Oldman for the Colonel role.
Steve recently got the chance to sit down with Oldman for the spy thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and the actor addressed the Akira rumors by confirming that he’s been approached, but he says no decisions have been made. Additionally, Oldman talked about working with the IMAX cameras on The Dark Knight Rises, which he says will be “pretty epic”. He revealed that because the cameras are so loud, they have to dub all the dialogue after the fact. Hit the jump for the full interview.
With two of the three major roles cast for Jaume Collet-Serra’s adaptation of Akira, Warner Bros. is set to shore up the role of Tetsuo before Thanksgiving. The Unknown director already has Garret Hedlund (TRON: Legacy) and Kristen Stewart playing Kaneda and Kei respectively, but will hold screentests this Sunday and Monday for Tetsuo, the young man who channels the powerful Akira. Set to test are D.J. Cotrona (Detroit 1-8-7), Logan Marshall-Green (Devil), Toby Kebbell (RocknRolla), Richard Madden (Game of Thrones), and Rami Malek (Larry Crowne). Retesting for the role will be Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine) and Alden Ehrenreich (Twixt). Hit the jump for more on Akira.
Kristen Stewart has reportedly been offered the female lead in Jaume Collet-Sera‘s adaptation of Akira. For those unfamiliar with the original manga/anime, the story takes place in the future city of New Manhattan (formerly Neo-Tokyo) and follows Kaneda (played by Garrett Hedlund), the leader of a biker gang tasked with saving his friend Tetsuo, who has potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments. According to Twitch, Stewart is up for the part of “Kei, a young medium who becomes the love interest for Kaneda.” Offers are also out to Gary Oldman to play Colonel and Helena Bonham Carter for Lady Miyako. Filming is set to begin in the spring.
Stewart–who co-stars with Hedlund in the upcoming adaptation of On the Road–is already trying to break free of the damsel-in-distress Bella Swan character by taking on the Snow-White-as-Action-Hero role (weird to write that) in Snow White and the Huntsman. Akira may be another opportunity for her to make sure she’s not seen as Bella for the rest of her career. Since Bella is barely a character, I don’t think that will be too much of a problem. Hit the jump to learn more about Kei.
Earlier today, the news broke that Garrett Hedlund is now in talks to take on the lead role in Jaume Collett-Serra‘s Akira remake. Upset that they weren’t the outlet to break the news, Deadline has chimed in with the old news that Warner Bros. wants Gary Oldman to play the Colonel in the long-gestating project. However, in their report Deadline also revealed that Warner Bros. wants Oldman to star in their period fantasy pic Arthur & Lancelot. The Change-Up director David Dobkin is helming the fresh take on the King Arthur legend, and we recently reported that The Killing star Joel Kinnaman has won the role of Lancelot.
The studio is currently testing a number of actors to find their Arthur, but they apparently want Oldman to take on the role of Merlin. Whether Oldman is keen on the part remains to be seen, but he’s currently filming The Dark Knight Rises for the studio so one assumes they’ll be talking. Oldman is generating some serious awards buzz for his turn in the thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, so he’s understandably fielding a number of offers at the moment. Arthur & Lancelot opens March 15th, 2013.
A few weeks ago, we reported that Warner Bros. may be trying to turn Jaume Collett-Serra‘s Akira remake into a cure for insomnia by making TRON: Legacy star Garrett Hedlund the frontrunner for the lead role. Now it looks like he’ll have it because according to Variety [and first reported by Twitch] Hedlund is in talks with WB to play Kaneda. Warner Bros. couldn’t make an offer to Hedlund until the budget was in place and I’m assuming the offer was, “You starred in TRON: Legacy and you’re getting a second chance at a major sci-fi blockbuster. You’re welcome.” If you think I’m being overly harsh on Hedlund, please direct me to the movie where he gave a magnetic and captivating performance.
But maybe he hasn’t been given the chance. Maybe films like Georgia Rule and Country Strong haven’t provided Hedlund with the chance to shine. However, he’s playing Dean Moriarty in the adaptation of On the Road, and that’s a damn fine character so we’ll see how he does. If you’re unfamiliar with Akira, hit the jump for a synopsis of the original manga.
Jaume Collet-Sera‘s adaptation of the manga/anime Akira has a green light and is planning to shoot in the spring, so casting on the film is heating up. We’ve already heard that bland-exemplar Garrett Hedlund is the frontrunner to play protagonist Kaneda (I’ve always said Hedlund looks like someone with the Japanese name “Kaneda”), but now two far-more-talented actors may be joining the cast. According to Twitch, Gary Oldman has been offered the role Colonel while Helena Bonham Carter is up for the part of Lady Miyako.
Hit the jump if you’re unfamiliar with Akira and want to know more about the characters. Oldman will next be seen in Tomas Alfredson‘s spy thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and Carter will be on screens next year in Tim Burton‘s Dark Shadows and Mike Newell‘s adaptation of Great Expectations.
If you’ve been keeping tabs on the development of the Akira remake over the past couple years, you know it has been a long and bumpy road up to this point. Warner Bros. has always remained committed to the property, though. According to Variety, the studio has finally made it official with a greenlight for a $90 million budget and an eye toward a late February/early March start date. The report confirms that Jaume Collett-Serra (Unknown) will direct, and provides this synopsis for the Steve Kloves script:
Set in New Manhattan, the cyberpunk sci-fi epic follows the leader of a biker gang who must save his friend, discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran are producing for Appian Way alongside Andrew Lazar, representing Mad Chance. Katsuhiro Otomo, the man behind the Akira manga and the writer/director of the 1988 anime adaptation, will executive produce the remake. More after the jump. [Update: ...including a comment on the news that Tron: Legacy star Garrett Hedlund's is the frontrunner for one of the lead roles.]
Despite being a bad movie, Jaume Collet-Serra’s Unknown raked in $130 million worldwide off a $30 million budget. Collet-Serra’s been linked to a reimagining of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a remake of Le Cercle Rouge, and possibly the 300 prequel Battle of Artemisia. Now Variety reports that he’s in talks to direct Warner Bros’ adaptation of the anime/manga Akira. You may recall that director Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli) left the project in late May and that Harry Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves handled the latest draft of the script. Warner Bros. is now envisioning the film as a $90 million tentpole. However, we previously reported that WB was planning on splitting the six-volume manga into two films so I’m not sure if the $90 million is supposed to cover both movies or just the first one.
However, even if Collet-Serra does come on board, Warner Bros. still faces the issue of casting the two lead roles of Tetsuo and Kaneda. The futuristic story has been reset from Neo-Tokyo to Neo-Manhattan and the broad overview of the story is that Tetsuo is the leader of a biker gang who has to stop his mutated friend Kaneda from destroying the city.