Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Producer Lazar: Live-Action Akira is ‘Priority Project’

Originally posted on 2009-07-28 14:01 EDT @ http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2009-07-28/producer-lazar/live-action-akira-is-priority-project

“Not realistic to go before the third quarter of next year for a 2011 release”

Mad Chance producer Andrew Lazar (Jonah Hex, Space Cowboys) told the iFMagazine website at Comic-Con International last week that while the writers for the live-action film adaptation of the Akira manga are still working on a draft, “it is a real priority project for Warner Brothers.” He cautioned however, that if the proposed project is green-lit for production, it will not be soon. “Sometimes movies need an enormous amount of prep, like this one. It is not realistic to go before the third quarter of next year for a 2011 release.”

Lazar indicated that there is “a lot of interest from a variety of people” for possible directing duties. He also emphasized that he is “a very inclusive producer of underlying rights” and that the original manga creator Katsuhiro Otomo is an executive producer and consultant on the proposed live-action project.

The Hollywood Reporter and Variety entertainment trade periodicals both reported last year that Warner and Appian Way, the production company of actor Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic, The Aviator), will adapt the Akira manga into two live-action films. Each film would cover three volumes of the renowned science-fiction manga about a governmental genetic project and a teenager’s attempt to save a fellow biker gang member. Otomo directed his own animated film adaptation that premiered on July 16, 1988 — the same day that the story has the fictional Tokyo being destroyed.

Source: iFMagazine via AnimeVice

Friday, July 24, 2009

Exclusive: ‘AKIRA’ Live Action Film a ‘PRIORITY PROJECT’ for Warner Bros

Originally Published on 7/24/2009 @ http://ifmagazine.com/new.asp?article=8393

Exclusive Comic-Con News (DAY 2 - July 24, 2009): ‘AKIRA’ LIVE ACTION FILM A ‘PRIORITY PROJECT’ FOR WARNER BROS.

The studio is working on a script to the ‘holy grail’ of anime for a 2011 release, says producer Andrew Lazar

By CARL CORTEZ and EMERSON PARKER, iF Staff
LOCATION: San Diego Comic Con

THE SKINNY: While talking about JONAH HEX at the San Diego Comic Con, producer Andrew Lazar revealed exclusively to iF Magazine plans for an upcoming AKIRA live action film.

“We are working on the script,” Lazar says about AKIRA. “It is a real priority project for Warner Bros. and so [the writers] are working on a draft.”

Way cool! And we can’t wait. When will it be in production? “Sometimes movies need an enormous amount of prep, like this one. It is not realistic to go before the third quarter of next year for a 2011 release,” Lazar says.

A film such as this is bound to have a huge buzz and following so does Lazar have any ideas about a director? “So many interesting choices, in truth, it is such an amazing property that we’ve seen a lot of interest from a variety of people,” Lazar says. “Once we get the final script, we’ll see what our final options are. It is a very important decision and we don’t want to jump into it lightly.”

Lazar believes that AKIRA is the holy grail of anime and wants to do it right. Because of that, he’s brought on board Katsuhiro Ôtomo, the original creator of the anime, as an executive producer and consultant on the movie.

“I’ve always been a very inclusive producer of underlying rights,” Lazar says. “And am very anxious to collaborate with Ôtomo and listen to his thoughts.”

But don’t ask about casting for AKIRA as of yet, Lazar believes that it is far too premature to be talking about who will play what role.