“Akira” originated in 1988 as a manga and then as an animated film co-written and directed by Katsuhiro Otomo. Set in New Manhattan, the cyberpunk sci-fi epic follows the leader of a biker gang who must save his friend, discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments.
With Non-Stop in theaters February 28, director Jaume Collet-Serra spoke with Comingsoon about the forthcoming Akira adaptation, which has been in development hell for nearly a decade. While Collet-Serra is still attached to direct for Warner Bros., it’s far from a sure thing. Still, he’s developing his vision, which includes improving the character dynamics. In this interview, he blasts the original manga, rightfully so. It doesn’t mean that the original is bad, it just means that there’s room for improvement. Even being a huge Akira fan myself, I can’t argue with him…
“You have to be respectful of the source material,” says Collet-Serra before implying that it will be his own vision. “Otomo adapted his own work from a manga into an anime and both things are completely different and genius. The only way to do a live version of “Akira” is to take the spirit and adapt it. It will be as different as the anime was from the manga.
“I hope that I can bring strong characters,” he adds, speaking on developing better protags. “In the original source material, I don’t think the main characters are the protagonists. What I’m hoping is to bring characters.
“Nobody’s interesting [in the originals]. Tetsuo’s interesting because weird sh*t happens to him, and Kaneda is so two-dimensional. That’s part of the Japanese culture, they never have strong characters. They’re used as a way to move the other philosophy forward.”
The last reported, Garrett Hedlund was in talks for the adaptation set in New Manhattan, where the the leader of a biker gang must save his friend, who is discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities from government medical experiments.
I hate double-dips. I hate triple-dips even more. This is why I really didn’t pay any attention to the 25th Anniversary release of the classic Manga Akira, which has been an animated classic since 1988.
Those of you who grew up watching this epic piece of cinematic history on VHS knows that all of the digital releases carry new English dubs, which is like putting a new voice over Michael Keaton in Batman. I haven’t watched Akira in years, and have sworn it off until the original VHS release found its way to digital media.
Well, the wait is over, as of YESTERDAY!
Now on Blu-ray from Funimation, the 25th Anniversary Blu-ray release of Akira is jam-packed with extras, including the original English dubs!!!! READ MORE
Even though Chronicle was pretty much an awesome, low-budget modern take on Akira, I’m still dying to see Warner Bros. get their once mega-budgeted adaptation into theaters.
Orphan and House of Wax‘s Jaume Collet-Serra is in discussions to return to the Akira directors chair, signing on to helm Warner Bros. adaptation of the popular anime pic, Variety reports.
“Set in New Manhattan, the cyberpunk sci-fi epic follows the leader of a biker gang who must save his friend, discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments.” READ MORE
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… Albert and Allen Hughes was to direct the live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s classic graphic novel, Akira. The last we heard, Warner Bros. Pictures has attached Jaume Collet-Serra to direct the post-apocalyptic tale that’s been in development hell for the better part of the past decade.
While Chronicle was already the Akira I wanted, I still hold hope that one day Warners will get the adaptation off the ground. Until then, let’s take a look back to when the Hughes brothers were attached. Illustrator Chris Weston has shared some unused storyboards that were drawn for the brothers. “Hopefully they reveal just how much love we had for the source material and how faithful we were going to be to it,” he explains accompanying the below photos.
Set in New Manhattan, the cyberpunk sci-fi epic follows the leader of a biker gang who must save his friend, discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments. READ MORE
Reviewed by Mike Ferraro
It’s hard to really recommend a superhero film like this that isn’t a complete bore (like Thor), despite the fact that in certain areas, it does indeed soar. All rhyming aside, Chronicle is a good film surrounded by a plethora of flaws. The film focuses on three friends who make a remarkable discovery that turns them into super-beings. What separates this film from every other film of its ilk, other than the fact that it isn’t based on a Marvel or DC property, is that it falls in to the found footage genre, a technique utilized most by horror genre. READ MORE
Dan Mazeau, writer of the upcoming sequel Wrath Of The Titans, is now set to write the adaptation of Bleach for Warner Brothers.
Per Variety, “Warner Bros. has acquired live-action feature rights to Tite Kubo’s manga and anime property “Bleach,” which will be adapted by “Wrath of the Titans” scribe Dan Mazeau.
Peter Segal (“Get Smart”) will produce with an eye toward possibly directing.”
What’s sort of odd is that the wording of the Variety article treats the involvement of Warner Brothers and Peter Segal as some kind of new development, when we actually reported this almost exactly two years ago.
The film will follow, “the adventures of Ichigo, a teenager who can see ghosts. When his family is attacked by a Hollow — a malevolent lost soul — Ichigo inadvertently absorbs the power to hunt Hollows. He then dedicates his life to protecting the innocent and helping tortured souls find peace.” READ MORE
While Warners twiddles their thumbs making decisions regarding the long-gestured and development-riddled Akira, French filmmaker Fabien Dubois shared his 43-second fan-made trailer for Katsuhiro Otomo’s Manga and anime adaptation that’s visually remarkable. Too bad Chronicle beat him (and Warners) to it… and captured it better. It’s still pretty cool.
“Akira” originated in 1988 as a manga and then as an animated film co-written and directed by Katsuhiro Otomo. “Set in New Manhattan, the cyberpunk sci-fi epic follows the leader of a biker gang who must save his friend, discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments.” READ MORE
Warner Bros. Pictures’ Akira, which has been through several incarnations, is being shut down in the face of casting and budgetary issues, says THR. The production offices in Vancouver are being closed, with below-the-line talent and crew told to stop working. “Everybody is being sent home,” according to an insider.
Producers, who include Appian Way’s Jennifer Kiloran Davisson and Mad Chance’s Andrew Lazar, will hunker down with director Jaume Collet-Serra for the next two weeks to iron out the script. It is unclear if Harry Potter scribe Steve Kloves, who did a pricey rewrite on the project a year ago, will be brought in to help out.
If the issues cannot be resolved, the project could end up being shelved entirely. More inside. READ MORE
Akira originated in 1988 as a manga and then as an animated film co-written and directed by Katsuhiro Otomo. It was set in New Manhattan and followed the leader of a biker gang who must save his friend, discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments.
The project is so epic that it was originally planned as a trilogy, which leads me to the big question: What will Warner Bros. and director Jaume Collet-Serra get on the big screen with their live-action adaptation set to shoot in 2012?
During casting calls, the following plot crunch has leaked online. READ MORE
Twitch continues to ping-pong actors for Warner Bros. Pictures’ Akira reporting that Ken Watanabe (Inception, Batman Begins) has been offered the role of The Colonel in Jaume Collet-Serra’s adaptation. They state that Gary Oldman and Warners were unable to close a deal.
We won’t even bother attempting to explain who is in talks for the role of Tetsuo, you’ll have to click here for that info.
Right now the only confirmed role is Kenada, who will come to life courtesy of Tron Legacy star Garrett Hedlund.
“Akira” originated in 1988 as a manga and then as an animated film co-written and directed by Katsuhiro Otomo. Set in New Manhattan, the cyberpunk sci-fi epic follows the leader of a biker gang who must save his friend, discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments. READ MORE
I truly hate these kind of stories, but it is kind of interesting to get deep inside the brain of a studio. Tonight THR has some potential casting for Warner Bros. Pictures’ upcoming Akira, all of which is merely speculation.
The $90 million movie, being directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (House of Wax, Orphan), is set in a place called New Manhattan and follows two brothers, one the leader of a motorcycle gang, the other a younger man (Tetsuo) with telekinetic abilities who becomes a dangerous weapon.
With Tron: Legacy‘s Garret Hedlund in final talks to star as Kaneda, the gang leader, and Kristen Stewart offered the role of Ky Reed, a woman who is part of an underground movement to expose the government for turning orphans into living weapons (she also may possess some abilities herself), the big question now is who will play Tetsuo, the young man whose latent powers will release the powerful being known as Akira?
D.J. Cotrona (G.I.Joe 2: Retaliation), Logan Marshall-Green (Devil, Prometheus), Toby Kebbell (RocknRolla, War Horse), Richard Madden (“Game of Thrones”), Rami Malek (Twilight: Breaking Dawn: Part 2), and Michael Pitt (“Boardwalk Empire”) are all potentials, with Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood, Cowboys & Aliens) and Alden Ehrenreich (Tetro) retesting for the role. Thumbs up for the studio thinking outside of the box. Keanu Reeves, sigh…
A decision is expected before Thanksgiving. Dano immediately caught my eye, and I think Kebbell, Pitt and Madden are also compelling choices. READ MORE
It’s hard to get the stank taste of Twilight out of my mouth when speaking of Kristen Stewart, but it’s even more difficult to argue that she isn’t quite the little actress. I was charmed by her in Adventureland, she rocked as Joan Jett in the indie The Runaways, and hit the road in Sean Penn’s widely successful Into the Wild. Of the Twilight acting trio, she’s the only one I take seriously.
With that said, I welcome Stewart as a potential candidate for Warner Bros. Pictures’ Akira, which is finally to be directed by House of Wax and Orphan‘s Jaume Collet-Sera.
Twitch reports that Stewart has been offered the part of Kei, a young medium who becomes the love interest for Kaneda – the role already publicly offered to Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy).
Originally planned as a trilogy (and since abandoned), “Akira” originated in 1988 as a manga and then as an animated film co-written and directed by Katsuhiro Otomo. Set in New Manhattan, the cyberpunk sci-fi epic follows the leader of a biker gang who must save his friend, discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments. READ MORE
Warners is moving like lightning on their live-action Akira.
Now that Tron: Legacy star Garrett Hedlund is nearly a lock for the Kenanda role, Twitch is reporting that Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight) has been offered the role of Colonel while Helena Bonham Carter (Dark Shadows) has been offered Lady Miyako.
To be clear, an offer can be refused by the stars and their representatives. We’ll report back with anything officially signed.
“Set in New Manhattan, the cyberpunk sci-fi epic follows the leader of a biker gang who must save his friend, discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments.”
After a series of false starts Jaume Collet-Serra (House of Wax, Orphan, Unknown) will direct. READ MORE
Warner Bros. has finally greenlit its live-action remake of the anime cult hit Akira for a late February/early March start, sources tell Variety.
In July, Warners tapped Spanish helmer Jaume Collet-Serra (House of Wax, Orphan, Unknown) to direct at a budget of $90 million, which was brought down from an initial figure of well more than $100 million.
Listening to fan outcry when the the studio had talked about casting the likes of Keanu Reeves, they’ve now turned their attention towards Tron: Legacy star Garrett Hedlund (pictured inside), who’s considered a front-runner. Though no offer’s been made, insiders say it’s only a matter of time.
And with that, we can all celebrate! READ MORE
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.”
The only thing Warner Bros. Pictures has done right in developing a live-action Akira was hiring young up-and-coming director Ruairi Robinson. Since then they’ve gone back to their big-headed suit way of thinking and brought on Allen and Albert Hughes to direct, while also dabbled with the notion of tapping Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield or James McAvoy for the role of “Tetsuo,” and Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake or Joaquin Phoenix for “Kaneda.” Keanu Reeves was then offered the lead, and (thankfully) declined.
Deadline is now reporting that the Hughes brothers have parted ways citing creative differences and that Warners is on the hunt for a director to quickly replace them. The project is still on fast track and now the studio is once again flirting with the aforementioned inept list of actors.
The idea of bringing the budget down always is a good idea to me, but if you’re going to embark on a daring journey, why not grow some balls and give an up-and-comer a chance to direct, and cast some no-namers so we can actually find ourselves immersed in the post-apocalyptic tale? Sigh.
The rewrite by Steve Kloves “sets the film in a rebuilt New Manhattan, where a leader of a biker gang saves his friend from a medical experiment.”
Even though he has a strong relationship with Warner Bros. by way of the The Matrix franchise, Keanu Reeves has officially passed on the role of Kaneda in the live-action Akira film, based on the 1988 landmark anime and six-volume manga, reports JoBlo.
The project has been in development hell for years and has had numerous big names circling it – James Franco, Brad Pitt, Joseph Gordon-Levitt to name a few – but none have ultimately signed on to the Albert Hughes helmed sci-fi flick, whose budget has swelled to an estimated $140 million. WB must’ve really been saddened by Keanu passing on the role, because they shut down the pre-viz department and let go most of the staff working on the film afterwards.
They still claim to be in the adaptation business, saying “Production on `Akira’ has not halted or been shut down, as the film has not yet been greenlit and is still very much in the development stage. The exploratory process is crucial to a project of this magnitude, and we will continue to sculpt our approach to making the best possible film.”
Regardless of the spin the studio will try to put on this, the facts are these: With word of even more possible rewrites to lower the budget (which soared much higher than WB expected), Akira is going to limp to its death unless an outside studio steps in to co-produce or an A-list actor jumps on board – and fast. They can tinker all they want, but Akira is huge in scope. Unless WB decides to visually represent the physical manifestation of Akira as a storm cloud (I’m looking at you, Rise Of The Silver Surfer) and film it in suburbia, I can’t imagine the film costing less than $100 million.
Woah, in the future I have a career!
Akira, the English-language, live-action take on the landmark anime and manga property, is zeroing in on its star, and it just might be Keanu Reeves, says Heat Vision.
Warner Bros. has been having a tough time finding the two leads of the movie, to be directed by Albert Hughes. In the script, “the action moves from Neo-Tokyo to New Manhattan, where a biker gang leader tries to save his best friend from a medical experiment that threatens to unleash destructive powers.”
Actors ranging from James Franco and Joseph Gordon-Levitt to Robert Pattinson and Michael Fassbender have circled the project in some form or fashion as the studio sought to find an A-list lead.
Now comes word that Reeves has held talks with the studio, with whom he already made the massively successful Matrix movies, for the part of Kaneda, the gang leader. Reeves doesn’t yet have an offer for the role, but they add the talks with his reps have been going well.
Deadline is reporting that the script for the Warner Bros/Legendary Pictures live action adaptation of anime artist Katsuhiro Otomo’s 6-volume graphic novel Akira has been sent to an impressive short list of actors.
The picture is finally taking shape for an August start, following the delivery of a rewrite by Steve Kloves that has director Albert Hughes and the studio brass excited.
The story takes place in the rebuilt New Manhattan where a leader of a biker gang saves his friend from a medical experiment.
There are two major roles, with the site reporting that for “Tetsuo,” Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield and James McAvoy have been given the new script. For the role of “Kaneda,” the script has been given to Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake and Joaquin Phoenix.
The intention has been to make 2 films, each covering 3 books in the series. Akira was first adapted for the screen in 1988.
Steve Kloves, best known for adapting seven of the eight Harry Potter films for Warner Bros., has been recruited to polish the studio’s live-action remake of Japanese manga epic Akira.
Albert Hughes is directing Akira, based on Katsuhiro Otomo’s graphic novel set in a post-apocalyptic Japan. Warner acquired the Akira rights three years ago from publisher Kodansha and set it up with Andrew Lazar’s Mad Chance with Appian Way’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran. Hughes and his brother, Allen Hughes. will also produce.
Warners hasn’t cast or set a release date for Akira, which is set in a metropolis that was rebuilt after being destroyed decades earlier by Akira, a child with immense psychic powers. Otomo wrote and directed the popular 1988 Japanese anime film of the same name, and he’ll exec produce WB’s Akira.
The latest version of the script was penned by Albert Torres, with earlier drafts by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby and Gary Whitta.
File this one under rumor for now as Just Jared is claiming that Warners is courting James Franco (Rise of the Apes , Spider-Man) to take the lead role of Shotaro Kaneda in Akira, the long in development adaptation of the popular Japanese Manga series. Zac Efron was offered the role but turned it down.
The flick will be based off of anime artist Katsuhiro Otomo’s six-volume cyberpunk comic with the film being set in New Manhattan, where the leader of a biker gang saves his friend from a medical experiment that nearly leads to the apocalypse.
Warner Bros. has tapped brothers Allen and Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli) to helm the project, along with Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company Appian Way.
The Digital Spy is reporting that representatives for the Hughes Brothers have refuted internet claims that Zac Efron was offered the lead role in a live-action adaptation of Akira, despite being listed directly on studio/agent cheat sheets. Whatever the case, I just hope that Warners gets the Manga adaptation off the ground sooner than later, the anticipation is killing me! “Akira” originated in 1988 as a manga and then as an animated film co-written and directed by Katsuhiro Otomo. The story was set in a neon-lit futuristic post-nuclear war “New Tokyo” in 2019 where a teen biker gang member is subjected to a government experiment which unleashes his latent powers. The gang’s leader must find a way to stop the ensuing swathe of destruction.
While attempting to confirm the early reports that Zac Efron was offered the role of Shotaro Kaneda (the gang leader) in Allen and Albert Hughes’ Akira, we also discovered that Morgan Freeman (Seven) is circling the role of the Colonel in the Manga adaptation shooting next year. “Akira” originated in 1988 as a manga and then as an animated film co-written and directed by Katsuhiro Otomo. The story was set in a neon-lit futuristic post-nuclear war “New Tokyo” in 2019 where a teen biker gang member is subjected to a government experiment which unleashes his latent powers. The gang’s leader must find a way to stop the ensuing swathe of destruction.