Dig Up Your Best ‘Brokira’ Jokes, WB’s Live Action ‘Akira’ Movie Is Back On With Jaume Collet-Serra
Just when we thought we were done having to write jokes about what’s almost certainly set to be a North American-localized live action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s beloved Akira manga and anime, Variety reports that Warner Bros. still wants to make a movie. Director Jaume Collet-Serra is once again attached to the project, with Variety reporting that WB is “still in love” with his vision — a vision that included what looked to be an almost all-white cast, a “New Manhattan” location, and recasting main characters Tetsuo and Kaneda as bartending brothers instead of teenage biker gang rivals. Apparently WB has found a way to address the director’s earlier concerns over creator interference and a mere $90 million budget and he’s set to begin work in the spring of 2014 with an unknown amount of money behind the project.
With Max Landis’ Chronicle at least temporarily filling the cinematic angry-teen-goes-mad-with-psychic-power niche in 2012, Akira fans bothered by looming changes breathed a sigh of relief when the live action version they’d learned so much about over months of plot and casting leaks finally seemed to have been laid to rest last fall. Many fans even warmed to the storyboard and concept art work done by artists like Jeffrey Errico, Rodolfo Dimaggio and Chris Weston once it seemed like there was some assurance that the compromised version of the movie wouldn’t be coming to pass.
It’s unknown whether previously attached star Garret Hedlund (TRON: Legacy) will return for the new version of the film or if another lead will be cast. What we do know is that Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Davisson Killoran and Andrew Lazar are producing the film, with Otomo serving as an executive producer. That’s not a footnote, either, Otomo could potentially help forge a film that fans of the original material will respect, if not enjoy. For now fans will just have to aim positive psychic suggestions at Hollywood and cross their mutating fingers.