‘House of Wax’/’Orphan’ Helmer Destroys New York With ‘Akira’ Weapon

Warners has come back to their senses having enlisted Orphan, House of Wax and “The River” helmer Jaume Collet-Serra to direct the live-action version of the anime cult classic Akira, reports Variety.

WB acquired the project for a seven-figure sum from Japanese manga publisher Kodansha in 2008. Ruairi Robinson and Albert Hughes were previously attached to direct the adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s graphic novel, with Hughes exiting the project amicably in May as a result of creative differences.

Gary Whitta was the first writer attached, while Albert Torres and the team of Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby also contributed drafts. Steve Kloves wrote the latest draft, having been WB’s go-to scribe for its lucrative “Harry Potter” franchise.

Set in New Manhattan, story follows the leader of a biker gang who saves his friend from a medical experiment.

Appian Way’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran are producing with Mad Chance’s Andrew Lazar. Otomo, who wrote and directed the popular 1988 Japanese anime pic of the same name, will exec produce “Akira.”