AKIRA is Back on Track


I’m glad to say today that someone, somewhere at Warner Bros.  has a brain…the cult classic Japanese import Akira is finally back on track for a big screen debut.  The adaptation has been mired in unending delays after funding fell through earlier this year.  To try and get things back on track, Warner Bros. has greenlit the film with an estimated budget of $90 million.  Produced by Hollywood big wigs Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran on behalf of Appian Way, Akira is scheduled to begin production February 2012.

Even though the film’s back on an official schedule, it still stands on the precipitous edge of delays.  The lead role has yet to be cast, which had been another significant factor in adapting the manga classic to the silver screen.  Warner Bros. has stated interest in Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves, and Zac Effron, but no clear word on who will actually step into the shoes of the story’s protagonist Shōtarō Kaneda.  I have to admit, when names like Zac Effron and Keanu Reeves are considered for a role like this, I get a little nervous.  But just remember, way back in 2007 everyone doubted Christopher Nolan’s selection of Heath Ledger as the Joker in The Dark Knight, and just look at how well that turned out.  But still…Zac Effron…really?

Akira is perhaps best known to American audiences through the classic 1988 animated film of the same name.  At the time, the Japanese import was lauded by Hollywood’s A-list, particularly championed by the creative team of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.  Following its American debut, the film went on to gross over $500 million in box office and home video sales, the highest for any foreign film.

Warner Bros. has a lot to gain from this film, so they’ll probably be extremely diligent in their selection of cast and crew, but still…let’s hope they don’t mess it up.

What do you guys think?  Sound off in the comments section below