If you were one of the people waiting for a live-action Akira film to be made, you’re not really going to be very happy about this latest news. Why? Well, according to reports over at Bloody Disgusting, the live action version of the film that had been in development at Warner Bros. is now “dead as a doornail.”
Originally, the movie was to be a massive two-part, live-action epic produced by Warner Bros. and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way productions. It was also to be the directorial debut of Ruari Robinson, best known as the Oscar-nominated director of the sci-fi comedy short Fifty Percent Grey and the short The Silent City. But now, with Robinson reportedly leaving the project, the fate of Akira as a live-action film is very much uncertain.
In case you’re not familiar with Akira, it originally came out in 1988 as a manga and then as an animated film co-written and directed by Katsuhiro Otomo. The story, set in a futuristic post-nuclear war “New Tokyo” in the year 2019, concerns a teen biker gang member called Tetsuo who is subjected to government experiments which unleash his hidden and terrifying powers. Kaneda, the gang’s leader and Tetsuo’s best friend, must then find a way to stop the ensuing destruction caused by his friend, even if it means killing him.
I first saw the animated film in the early ’90s and was blown away. At the time it was like no other animation I had ever seen and I’ve always secretly harbored a desire to see it as a big-budget, live-action feature. I guess I’ll take that much longer now to get my wish.
To get an idea of just how cool this movie is and to see what might have been, check out the trailer for the animated Akira after the break.