After years of trying Warner Brothers have apparently found a combination of script, budget and director that they like and have given the greenlight to their feature version of Akira.
Originally beginning life as a two film project to be directed by Ruairi Robinson, who was later replaced by Albert Hughes, the project is now in the hands of Jaume Collet-Serra with a modest - by event film standards - budget of ninety million dollars. Somewhere in the Hughes era WB simply dropped any language about Akira spanning two films that it's going to be one and out unless this version proves majorly successful.
This new version, though compressed, appears to be at least somewhat based on Robinson's earlier take, however, with the story transposed from Japan into a futuristic New Manhattan with the biker gangs and psychokinetic powers of Katsuhiro Otomo's original preserved. Otomo will receive what is surely a lip-service Executive Producer credit on the film with the actual producing duties falling to Leonardo DiCaprio (really), Jennifer Davisson Killoran and Andrew Lazar. Production is scheduled to start in late February or early March so start speculating now on who may fill the Tetsuo and Kaneda roles.
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