On a day which also saw the Wachowskis announce their return to large-scale SF film-making, Warner Brothers have now confirmed a green-light for the live action adaptation of the hugely influential anime and manga “Akira”.
Working with a troubling budget of $90 million – that doesn’t sound like a whole heck of a lot to mount a science fiction blockbuster set in a foreign country in the future with tons of pyrotechnics (literal and figurative) – is the director of sleeper hits “Orphan” and “Unknown”, Jaume Collet-Serra. I confess to being wholly unfamiliar with his work, but that’s my oversight.
A previous script draft was worked on by awesome nerd Gary Whitta (former editor of PC Gamer, contributor to the “Tested” podcast and writer of “The Book of Eli”) but this latest iteration is in the very safe hands of Steve Kloves, who wrote the lion’s share of the “Harry Potter” series.
Your man Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company is producing and the major hurdle to be addressed now is one of casting – are we going to see a cast of Anglo pretty boys in lead roles or does Warner Brothers have the foresight to at least stay partially true to the source material and cast Asian actors?
The rumour that Garrett Hedlund – who I really enjoyed in “Tron: Legacy” – has been offered the role of Kaneda suggests that the issue of ‘race-bending’ is still with us, unfortunately.