Oh, Akira. You’re never going to be able to make fans happy. Die-hards are going to hate the fact that the characters are older than the original incarnations in Katsuhiro Otomo‘s manga and movie — maybe up  to 30 years older if this rumor comes true. There is the whitewashing issue, and the fact that, even with two films and a big-ish budget to play with, concessions will have to be made to put the story on screen.

But let’s throw this one out and see how everyone responds. While actors like James Franco, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Brad Pitt, Robert Pattinson and Mila Kunis have been mentioned for roles, the current reported front-runner to play Akira‘s lead, the juvenile delinquent biker Kaneda, is Keanu Reeves. Whoa. Read More »

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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 »

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