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.

Monday, November 10, 2008

DiCaprio is Producing Akira, Ninja Scroll, Not Acting in Them

Originally posted on 2008-11-10 15:07 EST @ http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2008-11-10/dicaprio-is-producing-akira-ninja-scroll-not-acting

Self-professed “big fan of anime” says final Akira script draft is being written

Movie star and producer Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic, The Assassination of Richard Nixon, The Aviator) told MTV’s Splash Page that his Appian Way production company is waiting for the final script draft for the live-action film version of Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira manga. He added, “I’m a big fan of Japanese anime — that and another project called Ninja Scroll we’re trying to get developed and made into a movie, and I know there a lot of loyal fans out there of the project and die-hard fans, so we’re going to try to do the best job we possibly can and we’re not going to make the movie until the script is in the right shape.” He also emphasized that he is producing in these two projects, and that he does “not really” have any interest in acting in them.

The Variety entertainment news source reported in February that Warner Brothers and Appian Way had re-licensed the rights to remake Akira from the manga publisher Kodansha. The two companies originally planned to make two films, each of which 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 himself directed a popular 1988 anime film based on his own manga. Variety also reported last month that Warner Brothers and Appian Way had licensed the rights to adapt Yoshiaki Kawajiri’s Ninja Scroll action anime film from the Madhouse anime studio.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The American Akira Parody Cartoon

Brilliant parody of the upcoming Akira live action film.

Created by Harry Partridge (Happy Harry Toons)
http://www.youtube.com/user/HarryPartridge



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jafd97yJFOI

Friday, October 10, 2008

EXCLUSIVE: Leonardo DiCaprio Updates ‘Akira’ And ‘Ninja Scroll’ Status, Won’t Star In Either Film

Originally posted on 11/10/08 12:00 pm ET by Casey Seijas in News @ http://splashpage.mtv.com/2008/11/10/leonardo-dicaprio-updates-akira-and-ninja-scroll-status-wont-star-in-either-film/

Leonardo DiCaprioWhile most of Hollywood seems to be focusing on comics made stateside — with even French publishers getting some attention lately — Leonardo DiCaprio has clearly set his sights on Asia.

Already reported here on Splash Page, DiCaprio’s Appian Way production company has been picking up classic heavy-hitters from the world of Japanese manga and anime — most notably “Akira” and “Ninja Scroll” — to develop into live-action feature films. While the news of “Ninja Scroll” is still fresh on the blogs, “Akira” has already made some moves in Hollywood, being picked up by Warner Bros., scooping up Gary Whitta to write the script, and there’s even rumors that Joseph Gordon Levitt will play the role of Tetsuo.

“We’re waiting for the final draft of the script [for ‘Akira’],” DiCaprio told MTV. “I’m a big fan of Japanese anime — that and another project called ‘Ninja Scroll’ we’re trying to get developed and made into a movie, and I know there a lot of loyal fans out there of the project and die-hard fans, so we’re going to try to do the best job we possibly can and we’re not going to make the movie until the script is in the right shape.”

However, for those of you out there hoping to see DiCaprio on Kaneda’s souped up motorcycle in “Akira” or munching on rice balls a la Jubei Kibagami in “Ninja Scroll,” don’t hold your breath. When asked about what his role will be in these properties, DiCaprio made it clear that he’d be producing, and as for as any interest in acting: “No, not really,” he responded.

So talk it up, fellow anime and manga fans out there — are you pumped to see live-action versions of these films in production? Any ideas for lead roles or directors? Let’s get the conversation going in the comments.

[Reporting by Dan Storey, MTV UK]

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Joseph Gordon Levitt Denies ‘Akira’ Involvement…For Now

Originally posted 9/10/08 2:39 pm ET by Casey Seijas in Dark Horse, News @ http://splashpage.mtv.com/2008/09/10/joseph-gordon-levitt-denies-akira-involvementfor-now/

Joseph Gordon LevittIt’s been quite some time since we’ve heard anything from the live-action “Akira” movie front, ever since it was initially announced earlier this year that Warner Bros. and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way production company snagged the license to bring the manga-turned-anime classic to the big screen. So at this year’s Toronto Film Festival, MTV managed to catch up with actor Joseph Gordon Levitt, who’s rumored to play the role of Tetsuo.

When asked about the rumor, Levitt responded, “That just goes to show what you can believe about what people write about movies. I love the movie ‘Akira.’ I still have yet to read the manga, but that’s really just a rumor. They don’t have a script or anything.”

So while Levitt doesn’t necessarily say he’s not attached, it looks as though fans of what is arguably “The Godfather” of modern manga/anime properties will have to wait a bit longer before any official word comes out.

Anyone looking forward to a live-action “Akira” film? Or do you think the manga/anime are the end-all-be-all for the Japanese classic? Sound off in the comments!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

DiCaprio, Warner Bros. in for live-action ‘Akira’

Originally posted on Feb 21, 2008, ET by Borys Kit @ http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3i1afdf3970176b31535ab928b875958d1

By Borys Kit

Anime classic “Akira” is getting the live-action big screen treatment courtesy of Leonardo DiCaprio and Warner Bros.

Ruairi Robinson has been hired to direct what would ideally be a two-part epic. Gary Whitta is writing the adaptation, which DiCaprio will produce via his Appian Way shingle. Andrew Lazar is also producing via his Mad Chance shingle. Jennifer Davisson, who heads up Appian, will also be involved in some producorial capacity.

“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.

“Akira” has long been in development at the company, with producers Jon Peters and Basil Iwanyk involved at various times, as well as directors Stephen Norrington and Pitof. The rights lapsed but Warner managed to re-scoop them again for Robinson, who came to the studio with a vision of a two-part adaptation.

The new story moves the action to “New Manhattan,” a city rebuilt by Japanese money.

The studio is eyeing a summer 2009 release for the first movie.

Greg Silverman is overseeing for Warners. Otomo is executive producing. Legendary Pictures is co-financing.

Whitta, repped by UTA and Circle of Confusion, wrote “The Book of Eli,” which the Hughes Brothers are directing for Warners and Silver Pictures.

“Akira” would mark 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.” Robinson is repped by CAA and 3 Arts Entertainment.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Warner, Leonardo DiCaprio to Produce Live-Action Akira

Originally posted on 2008-02-20 17:45 EST @ http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2008-02-20/warner-leonardo-dicaprio-to-produce-akira-live-action

Two films planned, with first film scheduled for Summer 2009 release

The Hollywood Reporter and Variety entertainment trade periodicals both report that Warner Brothers and Appian Way, the production company of actor Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic, The Aviator), will adapt Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira manga into two live-action films. Each film will 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.

The manga set in Neo-Tokyo, a city rebuilt after being destroyed in a mysterious explosion. 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. The first live-action film is scheduled for release in the summer of 2009 and will move the story’s setting to “‘New Manhattan,’ a city rebuilt after being destroyed 31 years ago.”

Ireland’s Ruairi Robinson will be making his feature directorial debut with this project, and Gary Whitta (Book of Eli) is writing a script. Warner Brothers once had the film rights for Akira before, but Executive Vice-President Greg Silverman (300, Batman Begins) had to re-acquire them from Kodansha after a round of pitched bidding that reached seven figures. Mad Chance’s Andrew Lazar, DiCaprio, and Appian Way’s Jennifer Davisson will produce. No announcement has been made regarding the cast.

Update: The free version of Hollywood Reporter’s article is now active, and more information about the original manga and anime adaptation have been added.

Update 2: The Hollywood Reporter’s article added a picture of the Akira character from CAPCOM’s Rival School (Rival Gakuen) videogames. This Akira character is entirely unrelated to either Katsuhiro Otomo’s manga or the planned live-action movies. Robinson directed “The Silent City” short with Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins’ Scarecrow) and the Oscar-nominated “Fifty Percent Grey” animated short. Whitta was the editor-in-chief of PC Gamer magazine and the writer of the comic-book adaptation of the Death Jr. videogame.

WB takes franchise turn with ‘Akira’

Originally Posted on Wed., Feb. 20, 2008, 11:59am PT by MICHAEL FLEMING @ http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117981194.html?categoryid=13&cs=1&nid=2562

WB takes franchise turn with ‘Akira’
Studio to adapt graphic novel
By MICHAEL FLEMING

Warner Bros. will turn anime artist Katsuhiro Otomo’s six-volume graphic novel “Akira” into two live-action feature films, the first of which is being fast tracked for release in summer 2009. Legendary will co-finance with WB.

Each feature will be based on three of the books in Otomo’s series. The story takes place in New Manhattan, a metropolis that was rebuilt after being destroyed 31 years earlier. Otomo will exec produce the films.

Graphic novel was first adapted for the bigscreen in 1988 as a popular animated film which Otomo directed.

Studio has closed a seven-figure rights acquisition deal with manga publisher Kodansha and has set Ruairi Robinson to direct a script by Gary Whitta (”Book of Eli”). Andrew Lazar’s Mad Chance will produce with Appian Way’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson.

WB had the “Akira” rights several years ago only to let them lapse and then recapture them in a spirited bidding battle.

Robinson, an Irish helmer who has been Oscar nominated for his short film and commercials work, is making his feature debut.

The project was brought in by exec veep Greg Silverman, who has supervised “300” and “Batman Begins.”

Lazar is producer on the WB comedy “Get Smart,” and he’s about to start production on the Jim Carrey starrer “I Love You Phillip Morris” for EuropaCorp.

Appian Way is producing the John Cusack starrer “The Factory” for WB and Dark Castle.

UPDATE: DiCaprio to Topline ‘Akira’, Director Confirmed!

Originally posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2008 by MrDisgusting @ http://www.bloody-disgusting.com/news/11309

UPDATE: AICN adds that Joseph Gordon Levitt (Brick) will play Tetsuo! It was confirmed this afternoon our breaking news from last October (!) that Ruairi Robinson will direct the live-action adaptation of Akira for Warner Bros. Pictures. THR added a little something extra… Leonardo DiCaprio has been tapped to star in what will be a two-part epic! Read on for the entire story.

The anime classic “Akira” is getting the live-action big screen treatment courtesy of Leonardo DiCaprio and Warner Bros.

Ruairi Robinson has been hired to direct what would ideally be a two-part epic. Gary Whitta is writing the adaptation, which DiCaprio will produce via his Appian Way shingle. Andrew Lazar is also producing via his Mad Chance shingle. Jennifer Davisson, who heads up Appian, will also be involved in some producorial capacity.

“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.

“Akira” has long been in development at the company, with producers Jon Peters and Basil Iwanyk involved at various times, as well as directors Stephen Norrington and Pitof. The rights lapsed but Warner managed to re-scoop them again for Robinson, who came to the studio with a vision of a two-part adaptation.

The new story moves the action to “New Manhattan,” a city rebuilt by Japanese money.

The studio is eyeing a summer 2009 release for the first movie.

Greg Silverman is overseeing for Warners.

Whitta, repped by UTA and Circle of Confusion, wrote “The Book of Eli,” which the Hughes Brothers are directing for Warners and Silver Pictures.

“Akira” would mark 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.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ruairi Robinson’s The Silent City

Currently planned Akira director’s short film, The Silent City.

By Ruairí Robinson - starring Don Wycherley, Cillian Murphy and Garvan McGrath.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeF-tDhGtvI

After watching this, it looks promising that he could actually do a good job.