Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gary Whitta Discusses Live-Action Akira’s Early Drafts

Originally posted on 2009-12-13 04:14 EST @

Otomo gave notes on preliminary drafts that adapted all 6 manga volumes

The reports on Sunday on an update that screenwriter Gary Whitta gave regarding his work on Warner Brothers and Appian Way’s planned live-action film adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira manga. Whitta noted that he had not worked on the project “for about a year,” but added his “very, very preliminary” script drafts adapted all six volumes of the manga. (The 1988 Akira anime film was made while the original 1982-1990 manga was still being serialized.)

Whitta acknowledged that he never had a formal meeting with Otomo, but said that the staff did receive notes from Otomo “and kept in touch.” Whitta is no longer being kept up-to-date on the project, and according to, the film’s script is now being handled by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby.

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic, The Aviator) is producing the planned live-action film adaptation through his Appian Way production company. Mad Chance producer Andrew Lazar (Jonah Hex, Space Cowboys) said at Comic-Con International in August that the live-action project “is a real priority project for Warner Brothers” but is not likely to go into production before the third quarter of 2010 for a 2011 release.

Update: More background information added.

Gary Whitta Provides Akira Update

Originally posted on December 13, 2009 @

Gary Whitta Provides Akira Update
Source: Silas Lesnick

Speaking this morning from an early press day for The Book of Eli, screenwriter Gary Whitta was asked about his contributions to an early draft of the live-action Akira film, a project that, since it’s original announcement, has met with varying degrees of progress, including rumors that it would be split into two films and that work on the project had stopped altogether.

“…I haven’t worked on it for about a year,” says Whitta, “…The version I worked on was about going back to the source and doing the manga version. We were going to adapt the whole six-episode graphic novel.”

Of interest is the note that the project would encompass all six volumes of “Akira” creator Katsuhiro Otomo’s manga. The famous 1988 anime adaptation was based primarily on the first two volumes. Whitta also made mention of Otomo’s own (albeit slight) involvement:

“We got notes from [Otomo] and we kept in touch, but we never had a formal meeting or anything. The script I worked on was very, very preliminary. We did a couple of drafts of the script but, when I was there at least, it never got wrapped up to the point where I think he would get really hands on.”

The film now appears to be in the hands of screenwriters Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby and it is unknown if they are starting from scratch or expanding on Whitta’s work.

“They don’t keep you in the loop after you’re done,” says Whitta, “…now I go on the internet to find out what’s happening with it like everyone else.”