We’ve been writing about an Akira movie on this site literally since like 1998. Hell, even Renn got in the mix earlier this year with a piece that alluded to the potential film we’re apparently going to actually see in a couple of years. Blows my mind it’s taken this long, as Akira is The Big One. More than Cowboy BeBop, more than Ghost in the Shell, and even more than the romantic UROTSUKIDOJII. It’s the one manga/anime that’ll either open the floodgates or slam them shut like an account’s butthole on the first day of his prison sentence.
Shut up. I know it’s not that black and white. And I know that the ideas and styles inherent to this now tame work have been in theaters dozens of times in the lens of filmmakers paying homage or flat-out stealing. But Akira is a milestone. And it’s been one of the most cockteasing movie properties of forever.
But Variety has broken the news that Warners is going forward with a live-action Akira movie. Directed by the excellent and “sky is the limit” talent that is Jaume Collet-Serra no less. He’s a guy I’ve championed on a bunch of projects and one whose time is now, the awful Unknown notwithstanding. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way will be among the producers and the creator of the property (Otomo!) will be Executive Producing, which theoretically could help in the quality control department. Or he could be getting paid to just be quiet and Japanese.
Garrett Hedlund is mentioned as a possible leading man. Because he had worked with effects and because his hair looks awesome spiked. Guess it’s too much to ask for Hollywood to find a couple of Asian people to make big stars out of.
Still. A big budget Akira movie. I’m for it.