Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Joseph Gordon-Levitt Not Writing Off Live-Action ‘Akira’

Originally Posted on 6/30/09 9:30 am ET by Silas Lesnick in News @ http://splashpage.mtv.com/2009/06/30/joseph-gordon-levitt-not-writing-off-live-action-akira/

Joseph Gordon-LevittThough recent rumors have sounded the death-knell for Warner Bros’ live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s seminal manga, “Akira,” Joseph Gordon-Levitt isn’t ready to say die.

“You never know,” said the “500 Days of Summer” star with a coy smile when asked if the project was truly dead. Though not quite a confirmation of anything, it’s a far-cry from his comments last year which didn’t acknowledge any connection to the project whatsoever.

“Akira”, which ran for almost ten years in a serialized format, was famously adapted in 1988 as a feature-length anime, one of the first to have a major impact in the US. News hit last year that Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company, Appian Way, was working on a live-action version to be split between two different films. Gordon-Levitt was rumored to star as Tetsuo, the best friend of the main character, Kaneda, who, after an accident, manifests incredible, godlike, psychic abilities and becomes the story’s chief antagonist.

Though it was rumored for some time that DiCaprio himself might step into Kaneda’s motorcycle boots, the “Titanic” star later made it clear that his only interest was in producing and recent rumors suggest that even that may not happen. Bloody Digusting reported recently that, according to anonymous (and unofficial) sources, director Ruairi Robinson is off the project and that it is, for all intents and purposes, completely dead. Let’s hope that Gordon-Levitt’s response points to more than just wishful thinking.

How do you feel about JGL as Tetsuo? Who fits into your dream casting? Share your picks below!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Akira’ Project is Dead as a Doornail

Originally posted on Saturday, June 13, 2009 by MrDisgusting @ http://www.bloody-disgusting.com/news/16472

It has been a year and a half since we broke the news exclusively here on B-D - and about a year since THR confirmed (without credit of course) - that Ruairi Robinson would be making his directorial debut on the live-action adaptation of Akira, a massive two-part apocalypse story that was being produced by Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way and Warner Bros. Pictures. Sad news comes in this weekend as we have learned that not only has Robinson left the project, but Tetsuo and Kaneda’s adventure is “dead as a doornail,” a report we’ve confirmed with two separate sources. I can only hope it gets revived in the near future as this could have been one of the coolest effin’ movies ever.

“Akira” originated in 1988 as a manga and then as an animated film co-written and directed by Katsuhiro Otomo. The story was set in a neon-lit futuristic post-nuclear war “New Tokyo” in 2019 where a teen biker gang member is subjected to a government experiment which unleashes his latent powers. The gang’s leader must find a way to stop the ensuing swathe of destruction.

With its mature themes and cutting-edge animation, “Akira” was a milestone movie in anime and even animation circles, and led the way for anime making inroads into Western pop culture in the 1990s.

The new story was to move the action to “New Manhattan,” a city rebuilt by Japanese money and was to hit theaters THIS summer.

“Akira” would have marked the feature directorial debut for Robinson who was nominated for a best animated short Oscar in 2001 for a sci-fi comedy called “Fifty Percent Grey.” He also wrote and directed a sci-fi short titled “The Silent City” (watch it at BDTV), Robinson is repped by CAA and 3 Arts Entertainment.