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Dr. Love
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3:24 pm, Feb 11 2010
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New York Magazine's Vulture blog reports that the Hughes brothers — the directors behind Menace II Society, Dead Presidents, From Hell, and The Book of Eli — are negotiating with the Warner Brothers movie studio to direct the planned live-action film adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira manga. ComingSoon.net reported in December that Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, the writers of the first Iron Man film, wrote the most recent script drafts for the two proposed films. According to the Vulture blog, "an official release from the studio is expected later this week" regarding Albert and Allen Hughes' involvement.

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic, The Aviator) is producing the planned live-action film adaptation through his Appian Way production company. Mad Chance producer Andrew Lazar (Jonah Hex, Space Cowboys) said at Comic-Con International in August that the live-action project "is a real priority project for Warner Brothers" but is not likely to go into production before the third quarter of 2010 for a 2011 release. Otomo is an executive producer and consultant on the project.

According to The Hollywood Reporter and Variety in 2008, Warner and Appian Way 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.


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Dr. Love
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In a separate development, MTV.com posted a clip from a video interview with Appian Way's Leonardo DiCaprio regarding his next project. When asked if DiCaprio's next project will be the live-action film adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira manga or Twilight Zone, DiCaprio said, "You know, you never want to say anything is going to happen in this town, because everything gets thrown out the window one day and is green-lit the next."

DiCaprio, whose Shutter Island film will hit theaters this Friday, explained why neither films are his top priority right now, saying, "It's all about the material at the end of the day, that's why Shutter Island is something of a godsend. When you get good material, you have to jump on it and try to make it as best you can, because it is few and far between."

Last week the New York Magazine's Vulture blog reported that the Hughes brothers the directors behind Menace II Society, Dead Presidents, From Hell, and The Book of Eli are negotiating with the Warner Brothers movie studio to direct the film.


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Dr. Love
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Quote from Live-Action Akira Film Plans Get New Writer
The Collider.com movie news website interviewed producer Andrew Lazar (Jonah Hex, Space Cowboys, Get Smart) on the planned live-action Akira films, and Lazar revealed that his Akira team hired a new writer named Albert Torres to work with director Albert Hughes (Menace II Society, From Hell, The Book of Eli). Lazar said that Hughes is "off conceptualizing the movie with a bunch of visual artists" in pre-production development. When asked about the challenges of getting the project made as a big-budgeted, high-profile studio release, Lazar responded:

"Akira happens to be something that Warner Brothers management loves. They see the value in the title. They see the value in the franchise, and what the underlying property meant. It's a pretty seminal piece. And so they think that, with a guy who is a visionary director like Albert Hughes, it's not pushing a boulder up the hill for Akira because, quite frankly, the studio is really enthusiastic about it."

Lazar also confirmed that the first film will cover Katsuhiro Otomo's first three Akira manga volumes, and the next three volumes will be covered "hopefully, if we're fortunate enough to do a second one."

Screenwriter Gary Whitta was previously attached to the project, which actor Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic, The Aviator) is producing through his Appian Way production company. According to ComingSoon.net, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby also worked on the films' scripts before Torres was hired.


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Dr. Love
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11:44 am, Jun 23 2010
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Quote from Book of Eli's Albert Hughes: Warner Wants PG-13 Akira
Director Albert Hughes (Menace II Society, From Hell, The Book of Eli) told The Kevin and Josh Movie Show in a Friday radio interview that Warner Brothers gave him a "mandate" for a PG-13 rating on the planned live-action films of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira science-fiction manga. According to Hughes:

"It's not rated R. That's like something I had to take on when I was talking with the studio. The first thing they said to me is that it gotta be PG-13. And I said, 'Ok, I can look at that as a challenge or a hinderance.' There's something about cinema — old cinema — where I get excited about some subversive things you can do with being held down by something like that or being censored. That I kinda found to be a challenge — how can I make this feel like a rated-R movie. I look towards what [director Christopher] Nolan did with Batman. Tonally, those don't feel like PG-13 movies."

Hughes added that "it's a hard nut to crack because there are so many heavy themes — and there are some goofy stuff going on there too, but…. The trick for me is to simplify everything for the audience because you can't come in with that complexity." He cautioned that he only plans to work on the first of two planned films: "No, I'm not into sequels, so I don't even know if I want to be around for the sequel. I'm more like just focused on the first film and get that right."

Hughes noted that the film is not yet in production. "No, we're more like getting the script right and me going off and doing a 'look' book like I usually do — like I did for The Book of Eli. I did three of them which tonally set the way the movie looks and feels, what the characters look like, what the vehicles look like. That usually takes a month and a half, so I'm going to do that. The next script will probably come in early September, and we'll see where we're at."

Hughes said it is little too early to discuss the cast, but he wants a young actor "with good chops" for the main character and "your Gary Oldman or Morgan Freeman type" for the supporting cast. (Oldman worked with Hughes and his co-directing brother Allen on The Book of Eli.)

Screenwriters Gary Whitta, Mark Fergus, and Hawk Ostby were previously attached to the project, but the development team with producer Andrew Lazar (Jonah Hex, Space Cowboys, Get Smart) hired a new writer named Albert Torres. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic, The Aviator) is producing through his Appian Way production company. According to Eiga.com on Wednesday, Hughes told the Sankei Shimbun paper in a phone interview that his next film is Akira, and that he is busy creating the storyboards and plot.


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Dr. Love
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2:02 pm, Feb 20 2011
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Quote from Live-Action Akira Plans Get Harry Potter Scriptwriter
The producers of the planned live-action film adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira science-fiction manga have hired Steve Kloves to polish the latest draft of the scripts. Kloves wrote the screenplays for all of the films based of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels except the fifth one. He also wrote the Wonder Boys film, and he wrote and directed The Fabulous Baker Boys film.

Albert Hughes (Menace II Society, From Hell, The Book of Eli) is attached to direct the project for Warner Brothers. The project's cast and release date have not been established yet.

Screenwriter Gary Whitta was previously attached to the project, which actor Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic, Inception) is producing through his Appian Way production company. According to ComingSoon.net, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby also worked on the films' scripts before another writer, Albert Torres was hired to script the most recent draft last year.

Mad Chance's Andrew Lazar, DiCaprio, Appian Way's Jennifer Davisson Killoran, Hughes, and his brother Allen Hughes will produce the project. 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. Otomo will serve as an executive producer of the live-action version through a deal signed by his publisher, Kodansha.


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Dr. Love
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11:26 am, May 27 2011
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Quote from Hughes Leaves Live-Action Akira Project
The North American film news site Deadline reported on Thursday that director Albert Hughes has departed from the live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo's manga and anime film Akira. According to the report, Hughes departed amicably due to "creative differences" on the film, and the studio still intends to keep the film "on a fast track." Deadline further states that Warner intends to put Hughes on another film shortly.

The report cites "insiders" for the information. Warner Bros. had not responded to ANN's request for comment at press time.

Last week, the movie news site JoBlo.com reported that Keanu Reeves had passed on the lead role of Kaneda in the film, and that "most" of the film's staff had been let go. At the time, the site noted that Hughes was still attached to the project.

Screenwriters Gary Whitta, Mark Fergus, and Hawk Ostby were previously attached to the project, but the development team with producer Andrew Lazar (Jonah Hex, Space Cowboys, Get Smart) hired a new writer named Albert Torres. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic, The Aviator) is producing through his Appian Way production company. When the project was originally announced in 2008, it was intended to be the directorial debut for Ireland's Ruairi Robinson. Last year, Hughes told the Japanese movie news site Eiga.com that his next film is Akira.

In March, an alleged short list of possible cast members, including Justin Timberlake and Robert Pattinson, was posted by movie news site Deadline. While Pattinson himself downplayed the report, Star Trek television actor George Takei promoted petitions against the alleged "white-washing" (casting of only caucasian actors) of the series, whose original characters are Japanese.


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Dr. Love
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1:26 pm, Oct 16 2011
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Quote from Variety: Warner to Decide on Live-Action Akira Next Week
Showblitz, the blog of the entertainment trade magazine Variety, reported on Friday that Warner Bros. will decide on whether to green-light the live-action film adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo's science-fiction manga Akira next week. According to Showblitz, the producers gave a presentation on Wednesday, and sources are "confdent that [Warner Bros.] will be happy" with the revised budget.

Variety had reported in July that Warner hired director Jaume Collett-Serra (Unknown, Orphan, House of Wax) to direct the film, which was "being reenvisioned as a $90 million" blockbuster project. In May, previous director Albert Hughes left the project due to "creative differences" on the film.

The development team with producer Andrew Lazar (Jonah Hex, Space Cowboys, Get Smart) hired a writer named Albert Torres last year, after screenwriters Gary Whitta, Mark Fergus, and Hawk Ostby were previously attached to the project. When the project was originally announced in 2008, it was intended to be the directorial debut for Ireland's Ruairi Robinson. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic, The Aviator) is producing through his Appian Way production company.


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Dr. Love
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9:03 pm, Oct 20 2011
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Quote from Live-Action Akira Film Green-Lit by Warner
The Variety entertainment trade magazine is reporting on Wednesday that Warner Bros. has green-lit the live-action film adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira manga. Production on what Variety describes as a "potential tentpole project" is set to begin in late February or early March. (A "tentpole" franchise is a property which will, in theory, support a studio financially for much of a particular movie season.)

According to Variety, the film's current story goes as follows: "Set in New Manhattan, the cyberpunk sci-fi epic follows the leader of a biker gang who must save his friend, discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments."

Variety had reported in July that Warner hired director Jaume Collett-Serra (Unknown, Orphan, House of Wax) to direct the film, which was "being reenvisioned as a $90 million" blockbuster project. In May, previous director Albert Hughes left the project due to "creative differences" on the film.

The development team with producer Andrew Lazar (Jonah Hex, Space Cowboys, Get Smart) hired a writer named Albert Torres last year, after screenwriters Gary Whitta, Mark Fergus, and Hawk Ostby were previously attached to the project. When the project was originally announced in 2008, it was intended to be the directorial debut for Ireland's Ruairi Robinson. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic, The Aviator) is producing through his Appian Way production company.


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Dr. Love
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1:30 pm, Oct 24 2011
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Quote from Twitch Site: Gary Oldman, Helena Bonham-Carter Offered Akira Roles
The Twitch entertainment news site reported on Sunday that Gary Oldman (Sid and Nancy, Harry Potter films, Dark Knight trilogy) and Helena Bonham-Carter (A Room with a View, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, The King's Speech) have been offered the roles of Colonel and Lady Miyako, respectively, in Warner's live-action film adaptation of Akira. Variety had reported that Garrett Hedlund, the star of last year's Tron: Legacy film, is a frontrunner for one of Akira's two male leads, although he has not been formally offered the role.

Variety also reported that production on the live-action film adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira manga is set to begin in late February or early March. According to the magazine, the film's current story goes as follows: "Set in New Manhattan, the cyberpunk sci-fi epic follows the leader of a biker gang who must save his friend, discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments."


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Binturong
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2:55 pm, Oct 24 2011
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Has there ever been such a preposterous proposition as Hollywood's forthcoming live action remake of Akira, the seminal 1988 Japanese anime by writer-director Katsuhiro Otomo, which was greenlit earlier this week? It's the kind of ridiculously unlikely project one might expect to see in the late, lamented HBO comedy Entourage, perhaps featuring blue-eyed Hollywood A-lister Vincent Chase in the lead. Except nobody's laughing about the real-life remake, because most of the proposed casting choices have been just as outlandish.


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Dr. Love
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1:34 pm, Nov 4 2011
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Quote from Hollywood Reporter: Keira Knightley Approached for Role in Akira Film
The Hollywood Reporter trade magazine's Heat Vision blog reported on Thursday that actress Keira Knightley (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Pride & Prejudice, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest) has been approached for a role in Warner Bros.' live-action film adaptation of Akira. Hollywood Reporter did not mention which role Warner Bros. approached Knightley for.

Hollywood Reporter also noted that Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy, Country Strong, Friday Night Lights) is in negotiations with Warner Bros. for the role of Kaneda. The entertainment trade magazine Variety reported last month that Hedlund was a frontrunner for one of Akira's two male leads, but both the movie studio Warner Bros. and the director it hired, Jaume Collett-Serra (Unknown, Orphan, House of Wax) could not make an offer to the actor until the film had been green-lit.

The Twitch entertainment news site reported last month that Gary Oldman (Sid and Nancy, Harry Potter films, Dark Knight trilogy) and Helena Bonham-Carter (A Room with a View, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, The King's Speech) had been offered the roles of Colonel and Lady Miyako, respectively. Hollywood Reporter noted that so far only Hedlund has engaged Warner Bros. in negotiations.

Variety reported that production on the live-action film adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira manga is set to begin in late February or early March. According to the magazine, the film's current story goes as follows: "Set in New Manhattan, the cyberpunk sci-fi epic follows the leader of a biker gang who must save his friend, discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments."


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Dr. Love
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1:59 pm, Nov 5 2011
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Quote from Hollywood Reporter: Warner Looks at 2 for Akira's Tetsuo
The Hollywood Reporter entertainment trade magazine reported on Friday that Ezra Miller and Alden Ehrenreich are among the top contenders for the pivotal role of Tetsuo in Warner Brothers' live-action film adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira manga. The magazine describes Tetsuo as "a young man with telekinetic abilities who becomes a dangerous weapon."

18-year-old Miller starred in the independent thriller We Need To Talk About Kevin and co-starred in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, the 2012 film that Stephen Chbosky is directing from his own novel. He also appeared in recurring roles in the television series Californication and Royal Pains.

21-year-old Ehrenreich starred in Francis Ford Coppola's drama film Tetro in 2009. He also appeared in television guest roles in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Supernatural.

Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy) is in talks for the other lead role of Kaneda, which The Hollywood Reporter described as Tetsuo's "older brother and leader of a motorcycle gang" in Warner's film. The Twitch website and The Hollywood Reporter previously said that Helena Bonham Carter (The King's Speech), Gary Oldman (Dark Knight trilogy), and Keira Knightley (Pirates of the Caribbean films) have all been approached for roles.

Another trade magazine, Variety, reported that Jaume Collett-Serra (Unknown, Orphan, House of Wax) is set to begin directing the live-action film adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira manga in late February or early March. According to Variety, the film's current story goes as follows: "Set in New Manhattan, the cyberpunk sci-fi epic follows the leader of a biker gang who must save his friend, discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments."


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11:58 am, Nov 9 2011
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Quote from Akira Casting Calls for Yamagata, Tetsuo, Ky Listed
The Actors Access, a website for acting employment opportunities, posted casting calls for two characters in Appian Way and Warner Brothers' live-action Akira film on October 24. The site posted another casting call for a third character on November 3.

The October 24 casting call goes as follows:

Monday, Oct. 24, 2011, 4:59 PM Pacific
AKIRA
Feature Film
SAG

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Feature Film Writer: David James Kelly
Producers: Appian Way
Casting Director: Ronna Kress
SAG Casting Assistant: Hannah d’Angerio
Start Date: March 2012
Location: Vancouver

ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS ONLY.

WE DELETE EMAIL PITCHES TO OUR OFFICE

[ TETSUO ]
Male; any ethnicity, 20-25 years old; strung out, intense, street rat. (LEAD)
[ KY ]
Female; 20-30 years old; any ethnicity; tough, sexy, strong willed, street savvy. (LEAD)


The November 3 casting call is as follows:

Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011, 10:24 AM Pacific
Addendum to 10/24 4:59 PM
AKIRA (Additional Role)
Feature Film
SAG

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Writer: David James Kelly
Producers: Appian Way
Casting Director: Ronna Kress
Casting Assistant: Hannah d’Angerio, Emma Sands-Milsom
Start Date: March 2012
Location: Vancouver

ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS ONLY.

WE DELETE EMAIL PITCHES TO OUR OFFICE

[ YAMAGATA ]
Male, 20 to 30 years old, Japanese-American. (LEAD)


The Hollywood Reporter entertainment trade magazine reported on Friday that Ezra Miller and Alden Ehrenreich are among the top contenders for the pivotal role of Tetsuo in this live-action film adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira manga. Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy) is in talks for the other lead role of Kaneda, which The Hollywood Reporter described as Tetsuo's "older brother" in Warner's film. The Twitch website and The Hollywood Reporter previously said that Helena Bonham Carter (The King's Speech), Gary Oldman (Dark Knight trilogy), and Keira Knightley (Pirates of the Caribbean films) have all been approached for roles.

According to Variety, the film's current story goes as follows: "Set in New Manhattan, the cyberpunk sci-fi epic follows the leader of a biker gang who must save his friend, discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments."


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