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‘Akira’ Not Dead Yet, Despite Vancouver Office Closing And Test Option Expirations With Lead Actors

By | Thursday January 5, 2012 @ 3:56pm PST
Mike Fleming

Is Akira on the rocks with Warner Bros? I’m told that along with Warner Bros closing the Vancouver production office, the studio let lapse the test options deals it had with Dane DeHaan and Michael Pitt. Both actors had been competing for the lead role of Tetsuo, to star alongside Garrett Hedlund, Kristin Stewart, and potentially Ken Watanabe and Helena Bonham Carter. DeHaan and Boardwalk Empire star Pitt have been vying for that role since late last year. Neither was chosen over the other, and since those option deals ended today, it remains an open question whether either will keep the slot open to see if this movie goes forward. The film was all but greenlit, with production slated to begin March 5.

What’s the problem? Akira sounds not a lot different than what has happened at the studio to the films Arthur & Lancelot and Legendary Pictures’ big-budget film Paradise Lost. I’ve even heard turbulence on the 300 prequel Xerxes. Basically, the studio is scrutinizing everything. Akira, which was bought years ago and put on a fast track when Albert Hughes was going to direct it. While reports indicate Warner Bros has problems with budget, I’m told that’s not really the issue. The studio suddenly wanted changes made to the script, the most recent draft of which came from David James Kelly. They will quickly set a high-end writer to … Read More »

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Kristen Stewart In Talks For Role Of Kei In Jaume Collet-Serra’s ‘Akira’

Kristen Stewart is in advanced talks for the female lead Kei in director Jaume Collet-Serra’s epic Akira, based on Katsuhiro Otomo’s six-volume graphic novel. Twitchfilm reported midday Tuesday that Stewart had been offered the part. She would join Garrett Hedlund, who has the male lead Keneda. Gary Oldman will play the Colonel. Akira has been a high priority for Warner Bros ever since the studio acquired it with Legendary Pictures two years ago from manga publisher Kodansha. The intention has been to make two films, each covering three books in the series. Akira was first adapted for the screen in 1988. Stewart Andrew Lazar is producing with Appian Way’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran.

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‘Akira’ Focuses On Short List Of Actors After Getting Steve Kloves Rewrite

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: The script for the Warner Bros/Legendary Pictures live action adaptation of anime artist Katsuhiro Otomo’s 6-volume graphic novel Akira has been sent to a short list of actors. The picture is finally taking shape for an August start, following the delivery of a rewrite by Steve Kloves that has director Albert Hughes and the studio brass excited. The story takes place in the rebuilt New Manhattan where a leader of a biker gang saves his friend from a medical experiment. There are two major roles, and I’m told that for Tetsuo, Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield and James McAvoy have been given the new script. For the role of Kaneda, the script has been given to Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake and Joaquin Phoenix. The two leads are expected to come from that group of actors.

Andrew Lazar is producing with Appian Way’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran. 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 been to make 2 films, each covering 3 books in the series. Akira was first adapted for the screen in 1988.

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A Post Comic-Con Wish List of 15 Films The Geek Crowd Really Wants To See

Mike Fleming

Studios brought stars and film clips to Comic-Con, seeking geek love for all of its superhero and fantasy projects. While they’re paying attention, how about some of the more ambitious films these die-hards have waited years to see? After numerous conversations with agents, writers and studio execs who orbit the geek periphery, I’ve culled the 15 that came up most often. Some of these will happen soon, others might never emerge from development hell, a few might be just too tough to crack in a two-hour time frame. Given the glut of Comic-Con superhero projects, there’s a refreshing lack of capes. Here they are, in no particular order.

  • Warcraft.  Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros have been working on the project since last summer with Sam Raimi. When Spider-Man imploded, it looked like his next movie. Until Disney tempted him with a big paycheck as it tries for another Alice in Wonderland bonanza with its Great and Powerful Oz prequel. Raimi’s next slot is  now a race between the two projects to get scripts right and lock in stars (Disney wants Robert Downey Jr., but he doesn’t like the scripts he’s seen so far).  The Blizzard Entertainment Warcraft vidgame revolves around an epic conflict between the Horde and the Alliance. The game’s global following makes it the kind of branded property that compels studios to take big-budget risks. There is also
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