Warner Bros' Live-Action Akira Movie is Dead as a Doornail!
Good news or bad? That's up to you. It was only a year ago when it was officially announced that Warner Brothers and Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way were developing a live-action version of the anime Akira with first-time Irish director Ruairi Robinson. So now its been 15 months and we haven't heard much - but that's because its been struggling internally at the studio. Bloody Disgusting now confirms via "two separate sources" that the project is "dead as a doornail." Robinson is apparently also off of the project. When it was announced last year, the plan was to actually have shot and ready to debut in theaters this summer.
The studio fought for the rights in a bidding war in early 2008, as they had let go of them a few years earlier. The project was being spearheaded by Warner Bros. exec Greg Silverman, who previously brought 300 and Batman Begins to the studio. It was described as "Blade Runner meets City of God" which was more than enough to make me excited. Fans were in an uproar, however, because they were going to move the setting from Tokyo to what was being called "New Manhattan," a new metropolis that was rebuilt after being destroyed 31 years ago. I even heard that Zack Snyder was approached to direct (after 300) but declined.
Even being a fan of the original anime (which just got an awesome Blu-Ray re-release back in February), I was still looking forward to seeing this. Sure it would be a huge departure from that anime, but word is they were going to go all the way back to Katsuhiro Otomo's graphic novel anyway. Just imagining the kind of visuals and the incredible world that Otomo brought us back in 1988 converted to live-action would be amazing to see. I'd still love to see this get made one day, but it better be done right. If that means we have to wait another 10 years to see it done right, just like with Watchmen, then I'm fine waiting until then.