Bringing Akira to the big-screen as a live-action American movie has long been in Warner Brother’s sights, with Leonardo Dicaprio’s production company Appian Way being instrumental in a series of commissioned screenplays and false-starts over the years (and the actor himself oft-mentioned for a central acting role). The project has gone through a number of scripts, and 2009 specifically saw the project seem to die, come back to life, and then start the writing process all over again. It’s all happening once more, and this time Warner Brothers has brought in one of their favorites- Steve Kloves will be polishing/re-writing the most recent script from the mostly unknown Albert Torres.

Kloves is a big gun for Warner Brothers, as he’s written every single Harry Potter film, save for the fifth. This suggests that WB does take an Akira film very seriously as an epic tentpole project, but we really have no way of knowing for sure what their intentions are. Book of Eli director Albert Hughes remains attached to helm the project.

Akira is something that will certainly get off the ground at some point, but until Kloves turns in a new draft that makes the studio happy enough to greenlight it, we’re not going to know in how long or at what scale. I can’t imagine the film not being a tentpole-style major release, and there would seem to be little reason for putting the effort behind it otherwise. But as has been pointed out before, Watchmen was another dark, apocalyptic story with a fervent built-in fanbase, and that experiment didn’t net the best results for them. It’s reasonable to think that Akira has a bigger fanbase that crosses more age groups and guarantees better international returns, but the repeated re-writes suggest WB isn’t going to pull the trigger on a production they’re not happy with. All the better- Akira is a messy piece of source material to draw from, and one that is successful as much for its unique aesthetic and tone as its story. Translating Akira to the big screen successfully will require some serious re-engineering at the most basic level.

Something about Kloves being tapped makes me feel like we’ll be hearing more from this project sooner rather than later, so keep your eyes peeled for morphing and mutating blobs on the horizon…

Source | Variety

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