A live-action, big screen adaptation of classic Japanese anime Akira has been in the works since 2008, when Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way and producer Andrew Lazar acquired the rights to the project. Several starts and stops ensued, with several writers and directors attached and many actors eyed for leading roles at various stages. Last we heard, Akira was dead, but it is now very much un-dead as Warner Bros. has hired new Daredevil showrunner Marco Ramirez to write the screenplay.
The last we heard about the attempted remake of 'Akira' was that the film stalled out in development, with Jaume Collet-Serra leaving the project because of budget disputes, and with Garret Hedlund attached to star, but things have mostly been quiet for the last year. Well, the project is back on and Collet-Serra is in talks to return to the director's chair.
Last year, we saw intriguing hints at what a live-action 'Akira' movie might have looked like via some lovely storyboards by artist Chris Weston. Today we've got a whole batch of concept art from three separate iterations of the film, which is still waiting to get off the ground.
Comic artist Chris Weston recently took to his blog to post almost a dozen storyboards that he drew up for the live-action 'Akira' adaptation back when Albert Hughes was attached to direct and Kristen Stewart set to star. Weston and Hughes, having worked together on 'Book of Eli,' obviously had a grandiose and faithful vision for 'Akira'; the storyboards are incredibly detailed, and if Hughes' had nailed these, it's entirely possible that we would have received the best possible film version of the classic sci-fi anime.
'Akira' has been one of those Hollywood projects that has been languishing in development hell for quite some time now. The project has been greenlit and stalled so many times that Vegas has now starting taking odds on whether or not the project will ever get off the ground. Actor Toby Kebbell, once in talks to star in the film as Tetsuo, recently shed some light as what he thinks are the reasons for these delays.
'Akira,' the one Japanese movie property that Hollywood has been trying so hard to get ahold of but fans constantly shudder at the thought of. Once upon a time a filmmaker by the name of Ruairi Robinson teamed up with wonderful concept artist Sylvain Despretz and began to form his vision for a live-action 'Akira' through a small series of illustrations. Unfortunately both himself and the project parted ways from each other and his vision on 'Akira' lost, that is until today.