U.S. Live Action Remake Of ‘Akira’ Gets The Go Ahead At Warner Bros

That sounds like this is all new news and it’s just happened, but Warner has actually held the rights to Akira since 2008 and has now finally hit th go button on the film. Budgeted at around US$90m, the film is to be directed by ‘Orphan’ & ‘Unknown’ helmer Jaume Collet Serra and all fingers are pointing at Garrett Hedlund of ‘Tron Legacy’ for the lead. (Just can’t get away from motorbikes!) Akira is one of the most celebrated anime titles ever and has a following as loyal as Star Wars, Lord Of The Rings, Harry Potter and The Runaway Bride… Ok not The Runaway Bride, if anyone actually likes that film there should be a following to have that person exposed to a Batman Beat Down but I digress…

Variety reported that Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Keanu Reeves and James Franco were all in contention for the lead at various stages of pre-production but now the pieces are falling into place.

Over at Slashfilm Germain Lussier had this to say: The original 1988 anime directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, who is an executive producer on this film, is a classic in every sense of the world. It’s a massive, massive movie with huge action and really weird, almost noncommercial character swings. Every time you watch it you see something different and to translate that to live action will be an epic undertaking, especially at only $90 million. Expect it to be bare bones, gritty and – probably – without much of the violence and pessimism that made the original so wonderful. As for Collet-Serra, hopefully he’s a fan and sees this as his big shot. What we’d heard from concept designers on the film in the past was not encouraging and while Collet-Serra’ films have done okay at the box office, I don’t think any of them are home runs. In fact, I think Unknown is pretty terrible and, unfortunately, the closest thing he’s done to Akira as of yet. Let’s hope his vision pays respect to the original while placating executives who see this as a potential tentpole.