Leonardo DiCaprio Won't Star in Either Akira or Ninja Scroll
In the movie industry, the production companies are actually the ones who make the movies, the big studios just distribute them. One of the production companies, called Appian Way, is run by Leonardo DiCaprio himself, and has been picking up the rights to high profile projects left and right. Given that DiCaprio owns and operates the company, he has a say in whether or not he stars in any of the projects that they produce, so when Appian picked up both Akira and Ninja Scroll, the assumption was made that DiCaprio was interested in potentially starring in one or the other (or both). However, MTV debunks that rumor today and confirms that he's only going to produce - and make sure they stay true to their story.
DiCaprio told MTV that "we're waiting for the final draft of the script [for Akira]," which showed up on El Mayimbe's radar not too long ago. He continues, "I'm a big fan of Japanese anime - that and another project called Ninja Scroll we're trying to get developed and made into a movie, and I know there a lot of loyal fans out there of the project and die-hard fans, so we're going to try to do the best job we possibly can and we're not going to make the movie until the script is in the right shape." Thank goodness for that! He's right - die-hard anime fans like myself know that it'll be challenging to stay true to the story in both films, since Akira and Ninja Scroll are not only groundbreaking classics, but very edgy and controversial.
I have a lot of respect for DiCaprio and think he's a very talented actor, so I was one of the few who thought it might not have been a bad idea to see him cast as Kaneda or Tetsuo. At least he would've delivered a solid performance rather than hand it off to someone else who could potentially ruin it. Now we're back in that same boat. It's at least very reassuring to know that DiCaprio is a big fan of both animes and will make sure they're treated well. That's actually more than reassuring, considering he owns the company that is making both movies. I've always supported these live-action remakes, just because I'd always wanted to see Akira made into a real movie. It's a great anime, but it also has the potential to be a great live-action movie, too.
Who would you want to see cast in Akira or Ninja Scroll?