Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way production shingle is developing a live-action version of the anime classic "Akira."
According to the industry trades, Warner Bros. hopes to do "Akira" as a two-film franchise with the first part premiering in the summer of 2009.
DiCaprio and his Appian partner Jennifer Davisson will produce along with Andrew Lazar of Mad Chance. Gary Whitta is adapting the script and Ruairi Robinson will direct.
Katsuhiro Otomo co-wrote and directed the 1988 "Akira," which was a landmark step in helping Japanese animation cross over into Western pop culture. Based on a popular and epic manga, "Akira" is set in Neo-Tokyo in 2019. An accurate description of the plot would take more space than we have here, but it involves a teenage bike gang member who becomes involved in a government scientific program named "Akira," which leaves him with some intriguing new powers.
This is hardly the first attempt to do a live action "Akira." Producers including Jon Peters and Basil Iwanyk made in-roads with directors like Stephen Norrington and Pitof.
The setting of the new version will reportedly be shifted to "Neo-Manhattan," a futuristic New York City that's been rebuilt with Japanese money.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun