Getting a live-action adaptation of Akira off the ground has been like World War III for Warner Bros.
It’s publicly been in development since 2002 and has seen a wide array of directors attached (the latest rumor is that Warner Bros. wants Fast & Furious and Star Trek Beyond‘s Justin Lin at the helm).
But among the first was Ruairí Robinson, who is one of my favorite filmmakers. Robinson, who directed the Child’s Play-esque “Blinky,” about a robot that goes psycho, had been in deep development before the project was turned back over to the studio (who then hired Albert and Allen Hughes; see their unused storyboards here).
The live-action version would be set in New Manhattan and follow the leader of a biker gang who must save his friend, Tetsuo, discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments.
While I just came across this treasure trove, Robinson apparently had shared incredible concept art back in 2014.
The art imagines Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tetsuo (“Travis”), with Captain America‘s Chris Evans as Kaneda, while also diving into what Neo-New York would look like before and after the apocalypse.
Even though Chronicle did up a similar story phenomenally, I’ve been dying to see Akira realized. It’s crazy to think this has been in development longer than us horror fans were waiting for Freddy vs Jason!
Robinson would have been the perfect choice, as would the studio’s other inspired choices like, yup, The Shallows‘ Jaume Collet-Serra.
Anyways, here’s a look at some of the cooler pieces of concept art, while there’s a ton more, with storyboards(!) at Robinson’s official website.