Warner Bros’ attempt to get the live action adaptation of Akira up and running has so far proven to be difficult. Originally, the studio got the rights in 2008 and had been trying to work with Leonardo Dicaprio’s Appain Way for the movie but died down due to scheduling issues. Few years down the road, directors like Hughes Brothers, screenwriter Gary Whitta and stars like James Franco, Gary Oldman, Garret Heldund, Helena Bonham-Carter, Zac Efron and Keanu Reeves were rumoured to be involved in the project but zero results.
The latest setback involving director Jaume Collet-Serra (Non-Stop, Orphan) in 2014 was when the studio balked at the idea of spending more than US$70 million for the production which the director is struggling to accommodate. In the end, the studio pulled the plug and shut down the production facilities at Vancouver for Akira.
While all of this going on, fans of the original are not too keen of “whitewashing” of the original Japanese characters too.
Now, Warner Bros is looking to Marco J. Ramirez (Daredevil, Orange is New Black, Sons of Anarchy) to draft a new screenplay for Akira. He has been praised for a knack of writing hard-hitting, gritty, intense action with dynamic relationships between characters. Right now, he is taking the showrunning position from Steven S. DeKnight for the season two of Daredevil. Perhaps, the studio wanted a more grounded story that won’t cost a bomb when comes to effects and keeping it real between characters like Kaneda, Tetsuo and Colonel Sjikishima while easing off the more fantastical elements of the original material.
But will it be the same Akira that we know and love?
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