Akira remake gets green light, director and star

Akira (1988)

Akira - Japanese movie posterVariety reports that Akira, the live-action adaptation of the legendary Katsuhiro Otomo manga, has been green-lit for a February/March 2012 production start.

The same source also reports that Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) will direct, and Garrett Hedlund (TRON: Legacy) may be the front-runner for the leading man role. Appian Way’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran are producing with Mad Chance’s Andrew Lazar.

This is one of those “we’ll believe this is happening when the trailer is out” bits of news. Famously adapted as an anime in 1988, and revered around the world, the  live-action version of Akira has long been rumoured and has had a troubled pre-production history. Albert Hughes was slated to direct for the longest time, before being dropped earlier this year, and at one stage even former teen sensation Zac Efron was attached to star.

Akira is a story set against the dystopian future of Neo-Tokyo, where biker Tetsuo Shima’s emerging psychic powers threaten to release Akira, and he must be stopped by fellow biker Shotaro Kaneda.

The 1988 anime film was adapted from a 2182-page manga story, and was significantly altered and cut-down to make the feature length film we all know and love today. It is uncertain what path any live-action adaptation will take.

How do you feel about Akira being back on the cards again? Discuss below.