Warners has green-lighted a live-action, English language remake of the legendary Japanese anime flick “Akira,” Cinema Blend reports.
My friends and I used to watch the flick obsessively during our undergraduate years, committing whole sections to memory, even as we wore down our treasured VHS copy of the adventures of Kaneda and his pals in a post-apocalyptic Tokyo. Here’s the nut graf:
“Variety has learned that Warner Bros. has given the greenlight to the live-action remake of Akira. The project will move forward with a budget of $90 million and will try to begin production early next year. The new movie will move the setting from futuristic Tokyo to a futuristic Manhattan, where the leader of a biker gang tries to save his friend with psychokinetic powers from the government. Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Davisson Killoran, Andrew Lazar and Katsuhiro Otomo, who directed the original film, will serve as producers and Steve Kloves, best known for his work on the Harry Potter franchise, wrote the script. Furthermore, the site has also learned that Garrett Hedlund – who audiences saw riding enhanced motorcycles in last year’s Tron Legacy – is a favorite to take the lead role of Kaneda.”
I know there are fans out there who are even more obsessed with this movie than my friends and I were back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The filmmakers may have to tread carefully to keep audiences happy. It’ll be interesting to see how this proceeds.