After hearing about every rumor under the sun for the long-gestating live-action Akira adaptation, we now have news on if we will actually see it. This summer, Orphan and Unknown helmer Jaume Collet-Serra signed on to the project and after a recent report, we knew a decision would finally be made soon. That decision has come, as Variety reports Warner Bros. has greenlit the project.
The budget has been slashed to $90 million, cut down from an exorbitant (but some diehard fans would argue, necessary) price tag of $200+ million. The studio has commissioned Harry Potter scribe Steve Kloves to adapt the original graphic novel by Katsuhiro Otomo, serving as executive producer. Check out a synopsis below.
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.
The trade also reports that Tron: Legacy star Garrett Hedlund is WB’s frontrunner for the lead of the film. No deals are signed but, expect word on casting soon.
The source material has a massive scope, so it will be interesting to see how Kloves and Collet-Serra adapt this. I’m less weary with Otomo guiding the project and Leonardo DiCaprio‘s Appian Way production company backing. Despite a limp critical response, I thought Collet-Serra elevated the subpar material in Unknown and created a tense, fun thriller. He is working on a much larger scale here, so lets hope that skill transfers.
Akira is planning to begin production in late February or early March.
What do you think about Akira finally having production plans?