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 »

My Japanese reading comprehension isn’t what it used to be, so I depended on a comparison between Google Translation and Babel Fish to find my way through this story.

A Japanese Harry Potter fansite appear to have captured lots and lots (and, yeah, lots) of new images from the upcoming Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. I think there’s a new Japanese TV spot for the film – which I can’t so far find an even half working version of – and they seem to have looted it for screen captures. The website has asked that visitors don’t steal their pictures, which seems fair enough, so I can’t really put any here. You’ll have to take a trip over and endure the sometimes slow loading times if you want to see them. All the same, I think this is a worthwhile link because I don’t know how many of the /Film faithful also trawl Japanese websites looking for scoops.

There was something interesting that caught my eye, when looking at the caps…

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Harry PotterHarry Potter fans rejoice! Warner Bros is expected to officially announce plans to release the adaptation of the last and final Harry Potter book, split into two separate films. This makes more than perfect sense considering the 36 chapter plus epilogue book is a whopping 759 pages long. Fans have complained that the last two movies which suffered from plot compression. That’s probably because to hardcover releases of Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix ranged from 734 to 896 pages in length.

Warner Bros will release Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I in November 2010, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II six months later in May 2011. Both of the movies will be filmed concurrently. Screenwriter Steve Kloves, who wrote five of the fix films, is hard at work on both screenplays. Director David Yates, who directed both Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince (which began production in September) has already signed on for both sequels. Producer David Heyman explained to the LA Times:

“I swear to you it was born out of purely creative reasons. Unlike every other book, you cannot remove elements of this book. You can remove scenes of Ron playing quidditch from the fifth book, and you can remove Hermione and S.P.E.W. [Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare] and those subplots . . . but with the seventh, that can’t be done.” “The question will be, where do you break it? And how do you make them one but two separate and distinct stories? Do you break it with a moment of suspense or one of resolution? These are the interesting challenges. But each book has presented its challenges.”

The official book synopsis: “It all comes down to this – a final faceoff between good and evil. You plan to pull out all the stops, but every time you solve one mystery, three more evolve. Do you stay the course you started, despite your lack of progress? Do you detour and follow a new lead that may not help? Do you listen to your instincts, or your friends? Lord Voldemort is preparing for battle and so must Harry. With Ron and Hermione at his side, he’s trying to hunt down Voldemort’s Horcruxes, escape danger at every turn, and find a way to defeat evil once and for all. How does it all end?”

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince hits theaters on November 21st 2008.