Warner Bros is in talks with filmmakers Allen and Albert Hughes to direct Akira, a live action version of anime artist Katsuhiro Otomo’s 6-volume graphic novel. The story takes place in the rebuilt New Manhattan where a leader of a biker gang saves his friend from a medical experiment. Andrew Lazar is producing with Appian Way’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran. Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and Book of Eli scribe Gary Whitta wrote a script which originally had Ruairi Robinson aboard to direct.
The Hughes Brothers’ last graphic novel adaptation was the Johnny Depp film From Hell. The brothers are hot again after returning from a 9-year layoff as a directing team for Alcon Entertainment’s The Book of Eli, the post-apocalyptic drama distributed by Warner Bros that has drafted behind Avatar over the past 4 weeks to turn in a respectable $83 million domestic gross.
Akira has been one of Warner Bros’ high priority projects since the studio with Legendary Pictures acquired it for a 7-figure sum 2 years ago from manga publisher Kodansha. The intention has always been to make 2 films, each covering 3 books in the series. Akira was first adapted for the screen in 1988.