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It's been a while since we learned that Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way production company was planning to produce a live-action adaptation of Akira, the post-apocalyptic manga that was also made into an animated film. Those of us who don't generally follow such things just tuned out and assumed the movie was progressing as usual, but now there's bad news, coming from Bloody Disgusting. They've been told by two sources that the project is "dead as a doornail," and first-time director Ruairi Robinson has left the project.

Anime fans are big on Akira, and this likely could have been the kind of crossover success that Dragonball: Evolution most definitely wasn't, convincing the anime-wary that the genre is worth a shot. It may very well be the complete failure of Dragonball that tanked this movie, with Hollywood assuming that if one anime adaptation doesn't work, none can. Of course that's not fair, but projects are always so tenuous until they actually go into production-- and even then, of course, plenty can go wrong. We'll let you know if things start looking up on this one, but for now, it's a no go.