(taken from empire)
Despite most right-minded people yelling, ‘nooooooo! It can’t be done!’ or ‘Nooooooo! It shouldn’t be done!’ or even ‘Noooooo! It can’t, and shouldn’t be done!’, Warner Bros. is pressing ahead with plans to turn the anime classic, Akira – the manga film for those who can’t stand manga – into a live-action American film.
And, following the modern trend of Tintin, The Hobbit and the new Terminator movies, all of which have announced franchises before anyone’s even paid money to see the first movie, they’ve actually decided to turn it into two films.
The studio announced today that, under the auspices of Irish first-time director Ruairi Robinson – who was appointed last year – the live-action Akira will be based on Katsuhiro Otomo’s six-volume graphic novel, instead of his 1988 animated movie, with each movie comprising three parts.
The movies, which the filmmakers describe as Blade Runner meets City Of God (far more reassuring than, say, Blades Of Glory meets City Of Industry), have been relocated to the States as well, with the action taking place in “New Manhattan”, a vast conurbation that has risen from the ashes of New York, 31 years after it was destroyed in a nuclear attack.
The first movie is now being fast-tracked for a summer 2009 release, with scripts written by Gary Whitta.
There’s no casting as yet, but we’re intrigued to see that Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company, Appian Way, is on board, with Leo and Jennifer Davisson on producing duties, along with Andrew Lazar’s Mad Chance. Of course, DiCaprio’s involvement as producer doesn’t necessarily mean that he’ll be involved as an actor, especially given that he’s currently working on Scorsese’s Asheville. But there may also be no smoke without fire…
As for the movie(s) it(them)self(ves), we'd be the first to put the original Akira, and the graphic novel, on a big list of unfilmable properties. But we wish Robinson all the best - with Warner Bros. and a big sack of cash behind him, he's got a chance at least.
How the heck can they do it?