It is being reported that Warner Bros. is approving a live action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s hit Manga, Akira. The movie is set to begin production in late February to early March. Variety tells us that Akira is a “potential tentpole project” (a franchise that will support a studio financially for a movie season).
The film’s story, according to popular entertaniment trade magazing, Variety: “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.”
It was also previously reported by Variety in July, that Warner Bros. had hired director Jaume Collett-Serra (House of Wax, Orphan, Unknown) to direct the film, which was classified as a “$90 million blockbuster project”. In May, Albert Hughes, the previous director left the project due to what was referred to as “creative differences”.
Last year, producer Andrew Lazar (Get Smart, Space Cowboys, Jonah Hex) hired Albert Torres to write the scripts, after screenwriters Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, and Gary Whitta were previously attached to the project.
The project was originally announced in 2008, and it was intended as Ruairi Robinson’s directional debut. The production is being handled through Leonardo DiCaprio (Shutter Island, Inception, Titanic)’s company, Appian Way.
The original Manga of Akira was set in the year 2038, where everyone is trying to gain control of a boy named Akira, who has destructive psychic abilities so powerful, he’s been kept in cryo-stasis for over 30 years. After a young biker boy, Tetsuo releases Akira, it forces everyone to make their move.