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A proposed live-action version of Katsuhiro Ohtomo’s anime classic Akira has been mired in a state of suspension for years. But the on-again, off-again production is so anticipated that we’re even willing to report on news that Warner Bros. is close to deciding whether or not they will go forward with the project.
Variety says that filmmakers met with Warner executives last week and presented a revised budget for the long-gestating film. Now WB “seems closer to making a decision” on moving ahead with Akira, with a decision potentially coming next week.
I know. You’ve heard all of this before. Albert Hughes planned on directing, until he dropped out. Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan, Unknown) replaced him in the director’s seat, but then the remake stalled. Some fans were happy. Akira, set in a futuristic society, holds a special place in manga comic fans’ hearts.
Even if the live-action version gets underway, we have to start wondering how many changes will be made. Months ago, concept artists Chris Weston took to his blog to talk about the ways Hughes wanted to doctor the original. Most, as you’d guess, weren’t great. One thing I’m sure everyone will want to know if and when Akira is greenlit is who will play Shotaro Kaneda, the motorbike riding psionic. And that’s just the first obstacle that needs to be overcome. I’m not entirely sold on a live-action Akira. It sounds like we’re going find out this week, though, if Warner’s sold on it.