Looks like Warner Bros. is really going to make a new live-action version of Akira, adapted from Katsuhiro Otomo‘s massive manga of the same name. And it looks like some big changes — cosmetic ones at least, and probably several deep cuts — are in store. We’d already heard that a previous draft of the script was thrown at actors like Brad Pitt and James Franco, which suggested that the Albert Hughes-directed film is going to go pretty far off-book. (The leads in both the manga and anime versions of Akira are Japanese high-schoolers.)
The identities of actors that were offered a previous draft of the script seem to be open to question, but now there is a new shortlist based on the most recent script. That was just turned in by Harry Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves, and has reportedly been delivered to a handful of actors, with a few in mind as possible choices for the two lead roles of Kaneda and Tetsuo. Among the names are Robert Pattinson, Michael Fassbender and Joaquin Phoenix. Stop saying ‘WTF?’ and hit the jump for more info. Read More »
We know that Warner Bros. is aggressively moving forward on a live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo‘s classic manga Akira. Albert Hughes will direct the film from a script that has passed through the hands of several screenwriters, most recently landing on the desk of Harry Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves. He’ll rewrite and then casting can get underway in earnest. (There have been many casting rumblings already, and we don’t know if this rewrite is motivated by failed attempts to land big names, as has been suggested.)
Meanwhile, a few pages from an earlier draft have been sent out to casting agencies, and have also ended up on the web. Hardcore Akira fans will liekyl find the contents to be a mixed bag. Read More »
There has been a lot of small news of late on the Warner Bros. remake of Akira, which will be directed by Albert Hughes and produced by he and his brother Allen for Appian Way and WB. James Franco, Mila Kunis and Brad Pitt were reportedly all offered roles, and WB seems keen on casting a big name in the lead.
Now there is word — and this is the most reliable report we’ve had on the film so far — that Harry Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves is going to polish the script written by Albert Torres (Henry Poole is Here). Read More »
We just talked about how Mila Kunis may be taking a key role in Sam Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful, after passing on a role in the live-action version of Akira to be directed by Albert Hughes.
I’d heard rumor that Ms. Kunis might be looking at an Akira role, but there’s a lot more in today’s report about what Warner Bros. is trying to do with the film. The big deal is right in the headline — in addition to talking to James Franco about a key part, Warner Bros. reportedly offered the lead, Kaneda, to Brad Pitt. He turned it down, but that really tells us what WB is trying to do with the movie, and makes me wonder if we’ll ever see it. Read More »
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Answer: Probably not. The development of a live-action film version of Katsuhiro Otomo‘s manga Akira has been long and difficult. The massive story isn’t the easiest thing to distill into one or two feature films (just ask the creator, who did it himself in the late ’80s) much less for a price that represents an acceptable balance between risk and reward. But Warner Bros and Leonardo DiCaprio’s company Appian Way are forging ahead nonetheless. Director Albert Hughes has been attached to the film for some time but the only cast news we’ve heard since he was hired is that Morgan Freeman might play the Colonel who oversees a project to develop psychic abilities in some individuals.
Now a report pegs James Franco as a possible choice for Kaneda, the lead character. Read More »
I’ve been anxiously awaiting confirmation that Zac Efron will in fact not star in Albert Hughes’ upcoming live-action adaptation of the popular anime/Katsuhiro Otomo‘s six-volume manga Akira, but instead all we’ve gotten are more rumors. At least this bit of potential casting is much more appealing: it seems Morgan Freeman is circling the role of the Colonel, aka Colonel Shikishima.
(After the break, more on Akira, and an unfortunate realization dawns: Hollywood might make a Rubik’s Cube movie.) Read More »
Another rumor which is making the tracking board rounds today is that Zac Efron has apparently been offered the lead role in Albert Hughes’ upcoming live-action adaptation of the popular anime/Katsuhiro Otomo‘s six-volume manga Akira. I’m not able to confirm the offer, but one source tells me Efron is in talks, while another says that it is “far from a done deal.”
So while it’s out there, I thought I’d ask what you guys think of the choice of Efron as the film’s title character?
Read More »
It’s taken a while for Warner Bros. to get a plan together with respect to the live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo‘s six-volume manga Akira, which Otomo previously directed as anime. That 1988 version became a landmark effort in anime, setting a bar for the remake that many fans consider impossibly high. But the anime, massively condensed from the manga and with an alternate ending, has an awkward, exposition-heavy narrative that isn’t nearly as engrossing as the beautiful animation.
So, yeah, there’s some leeway for a live-action adaptation that has the space to stretch the story out between two films. Or I thought there was, until I heard the writer of Henry Poole is Here would be penning the latest draft. Read More »
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This is unexpected. Evidently Warner Bros. really liked what Albert and Allen Hughes did with The Book of Eli, because the brothers are reportedly finalizing a deal to direct the long-discussed live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo‘s manga Akira. Originally floated in early 2008 as a two-part film to be directed by Ruairi Robinson, the films were put off by the WGA strike, then the scripts took forever to crack and the project was reported dead. In September of last year the Akira remake was said to be alive and well, and that brings us to this interesting point. Did the Hughes Brothers show the proper chops in The Book of Eli to pull this off? Read More »
The Hughes Brothers have been absent from the big screen for far too long. Their last feature, the so-so adaptation of Alan Moore’s From Hell with Johnny Depp, was released way back in 2001. Since then, they’ve dabbled in docs and TV work, so I’m pretty astounded by my acute anticipation for Hughes Bros movies. I mean, the wild-eyed energy and knack for cool they displayed with Menace II Society and Dead Presidents made a stir in the industry more than 10 years ago.
Denzel Washington will star in the directors’ Book of Eli for mega-producer Joel Silver. Described by screenwriter Gary Whitta (upcoming Akira movies) as a “kind of post-apocalyptic Western,” here’s the logline…
A lone hero fights his way across the wasteland of post-apocalyptic America. He’s the protector of a sacred book that may hold the key to saving humanity.
A rewrite of Witta’s script was done by Anthony Peckham, who scribed Clint Eastwood’s planned Nelson Mandela biopic, The Human Factor, and Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes. I look forward to hearing more about this project because my kneejerk reaction is a blockbuster-drippy version of I Am Legend sans mutants rather than a dystopian nightmare-scape a la the buzz surrounding this winter’s The Road. But truthfully, Washington always lowers my hopes for grimly-sounding material. Too much the surface charmer. The writers’ credits are admittedly intriguing and Albert and Allen Hughes remain more hit than miss.
Discuss: Are you a Hughes Bros. fan? Based on the talent involved and the premise, what’s your gut intution for Book of Eli?