Thursday, February 21, 2008

DiCaprio, Warner Bros. in for live-action ‘Akira’

Originally posted on Feb 21, 2008, ET by Borys Kit @ http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3i1afdf3970176b31535ab928b875958d1

By Borys Kit

Anime classic “Akira” is getting the live-action big screen treatment courtesy of Leonardo DiCaprio and Warner Bros.

Ruairi Robinson has been hired to direct what would ideally be a two-part epic. Gary Whitta is writing the adaptation, which DiCaprio will produce via his Appian Way shingle. Andrew Lazar is also producing via his Mad Chance shingle. Jennifer Davisson, who heads up Appian, will also be involved in some producorial capacity.

“Akira” originated in 1988 as a manga and then as an animated film co-written and directed by Katsuhiro Otomo. The story was set in a neon-lit futuristic post-nuclear war “New Tokyo” in 2019 where a teen biker gang member is subjected to a government experiment which unleashes his latent powers. The gang’s leader must find a way to stop the ensuing swathe of destruction.

With its mature themes and cutting-edge animation, “Akira” was a milestone movie in anime and even animation circles, and led the way for anime making inroads into Western pop culture in the 1990s.

“Akira” has long been in development at the company, with producers Jon Peters and Basil Iwanyk involved at various times, as well as directors Stephen Norrington and Pitof. The rights lapsed but Warner managed to re-scoop them again for Robinson, who came to the studio with a vision of a two-part adaptation.

The new story moves the action to “New Manhattan,” a city rebuilt by Japanese money.

The studio is eyeing a summer 2009 release for the first movie.

Greg Silverman is overseeing for Warners. Otomo is executive producing. Legendary Pictures is co-financing.

Whitta, repped by UTA and Circle of Confusion, wrote “The Book of Eli,” which the Hughes Brothers are directing for Warners and Silver Pictures.

“Akira” would mark the feature directorial debut for Robinson who was nominated for a best animated short Oscar in 2001 for a sci-fi comedy called “Fifty Percent Grey.” He also wrote and directed a sci-fi short titled “The Silent City.” Robinson is repped by CAA and 3 Arts Entertainment.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Warner, Leonardo DiCaprio to Produce Live-Action Akira

Originally posted on 2008-02-20 17:45 EST @ http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2008-02-20/warner-leonardo-dicaprio-to-produce-akira-live-action

Two films planned, with first film scheduled for Summer 2009 release

The Hollywood Reporter and Variety entertainment trade periodicals both report that Warner Brothers and Appian Way, the production company of actor Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic, The Aviator), will adapt Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira manga into two live-action films. Each film will cover three volumes of the renowned science-fiction manga about a governmental genetic project and a teenager’s attempt to save a fellow biker gang member.

The manga set in Neo-Tokyo, a city rebuilt after being destroyed in a mysterious explosion. Otomo directed his own animated film adaptation that premiered on July 16, 1988 — the same day that the story has the fictional Tokyo being destroyed. The first live-action film is scheduled for release in the summer of 2009 and will move the story’s setting to “‘New Manhattan,’ a city rebuilt after being destroyed 31 years ago.”

Ireland’s Ruairi Robinson will be making his feature directorial debut with this project, and Gary Whitta (Book of Eli) is writing a script. Warner Brothers once had the film rights for Akira before, but Executive Vice-President Greg Silverman (300, Batman Begins) had to re-acquire them from Kodansha after a round of pitched bidding that reached seven figures. Mad Chance’s Andrew Lazar, DiCaprio, and Appian Way’s Jennifer Davisson will produce. No announcement has been made regarding the cast.

Update: The free version of Hollywood Reporter’s article is now active, and more information about the original manga and anime adaptation have been added.

Update 2: The Hollywood Reporter’s article added a picture of the Akira character from CAPCOM’s Rival School (Rival Gakuen) videogames. This Akira character is entirely unrelated to either Katsuhiro Otomo’s manga or the planned live-action movies. Robinson directed “The Silent City” short with Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins’ Scarecrow) and the Oscar-nominated “Fifty Percent Grey” animated short. Whitta was the editor-in-chief of PC Gamer magazine and the writer of the comic-book adaptation of the Death Jr. videogame.

WB takes franchise turn with ‘Akira’

Originally Posted on Wed., Feb. 20, 2008, 11:59am PT by MICHAEL FLEMING @ http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117981194.html?categoryid=13&cs=1&nid=2562

WB takes franchise turn with ‘Akira’
Studio to adapt graphic novel
By MICHAEL FLEMING

Warner Bros. will turn anime artist Katsuhiro Otomo’s six-volume graphic novel “Akira” into two live-action feature films, the first of which is being fast tracked for release in summer 2009. Legendary will co-finance with WB.

Each feature will be based on three of the books in Otomo’s series. The story takes place in New Manhattan, a metropolis that was rebuilt after being destroyed 31 years earlier. Otomo will exec produce the films.

Graphic novel was first adapted for the bigscreen in 1988 as a popular animated film which Otomo directed.

Studio has closed a seven-figure rights acquisition deal with manga publisher Kodansha and has set Ruairi Robinson to direct a script by Gary Whitta (”Book of Eli”). Andrew Lazar’s Mad Chance will produce with Appian Way’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson.

WB had the “Akira” rights several years ago only to let them lapse and then recapture them in a spirited bidding battle.

Robinson, an Irish helmer who has been Oscar nominated for his short film and commercials work, is making his feature debut.

The project was brought in by exec veep Greg Silverman, who has supervised “300” and “Batman Begins.”

Lazar is producer on the WB comedy “Get Smart,” and he’s about to start production on the Jim Carrey starrer “I Love You Phillip Morris” for EuropaCorp.

Appian Way is producing the John Cusack starrer “The Factory” for WB and Dark Castle.

UPDATE: DiCaprio to Topline ‘Akira’, Director Confirmed!

Originally posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2008 by MrDisgusting @ http://www.bloody-disgusting.com/news/11309

UPDATE: AICN adds that Joseph Gordon Levitt (Brick) will play Tetsuo! It was confirmed this afternoon our breaking news from last October (!) that Ruairi Robinson will direct the live-action adaptation of Akira for Warner Bros. Pictures. THR added a little something extra… Leonardo DiCaprio has been tapped to star in what will be a two-part epic! Read on for the entire story.

The anime classic “Akira” is getting the live-action big screen treatment courtesy of Leonardo DiCaprio and Warner Bros.

Ruairi Robinson has been hired to direct what would ideally be a two-part epic. Gary Whitta is writing the adaptation, which DiCaprio will produce via his Appian Way shingle. Andrew Lazar is also producing via his Mad Chance shingle. Jennifer Davisson, who heads up Appian, will also be involved in some producorial capacity.

“Akira” originated in 1988 as a manga and then as an animated film co-written and directed by Katsuhiro Otomo. The story was set in a neon-lit futuristic post-nuclear war “New Tokyo” in 2019 where a teen biker gang member is subjected to a government experiment which unleashes his latent powers. The gang’s leader must find a way to stop the ensuing swathe of destruction.

With its mature themes and cutting-edge animation, “Akira” was a milestone movie in anime and even animation circles, and led the way for anime making inroads into Western pop culture in the 1990s.

“Akira” has long been in development at the company, with producers Jon Peters and Basil Iwanyk involved at various times, as well as directors Stephen Norrington and Pitof. The rights lapsed but Warner managed to re-scoop them again for Robinson, who came to the studio with a vision of a two-part adaptation.

The new story moves the action to “New Manhattan,” a city rebuilt by Japanese money.

The studio is eyeing a summer 2009 release for the first movie.

Greg Silverman is overseeing for Warners.

Whitta, repped by UTA and Circle of Confusion, wrote “The Book of Eli,” which the Hughes Brothers are directing for Warners and Silver Pictures.

“Akira” would mark the feature directorial debut for Robinson who was nominated for a best animated short Oscar in 2001 for a sci-fi comedy called “Fifty Percent Grey.” He also wrote and directed a sci-fi short titled “The Silent City” (watch it at BDTV), Robinson is repped by CAA and 3 Arts Entertainment.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ruairi Robinson’s The Silent City

Currently planned Akira director’s short film, The Silent City.

By Ruairí Robinson - starring Don Wycherley, Cillian Murphy and Garvan McGrath.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeF-tDhGtvI

After watching this, it looks promising that he could actually do a good job.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Akira’ Live Action Remake Finds Director!!!

Originally posted on Sunday, October 28, 2007 by MrDisgusting @ http://www.bloody-disgusting.com/news/10291

One of the greatest post-apocalyptic thrillers ever told was the animated Manga Akira, which saw an announcement wayyyy back in July of 2003 that James Robinson would pen the adaptation with director Steven Norrington. I’m sure this has long passed, but we do have something official that just leaked to us through the grapevine, something that’s going to blow your socks off. We’ve been informed that Warner Bros. Pictures is trying to get Akira off the ground pre-strike and have attached 29-year-old Oscar nominated Irish director Ruairi Robinson! No more details have been revealed other than he directed a mind blowing short film entitled The Silent City, which can be viewed over at BDTV. Watch this spot for more news soon and cross your fingers that this sucker gets rolling ASAP.

Thursday, November 3, 2005

Papercraft Kaneda’s Bike from AKIRA Designed by Brad Tate

Awesome papercraft Akira Bike designed by Brad Tate.

The model comes in printable PDF format ready to cut out and build. The bike comes on six A4 pages with one additional page for the stand, as well as a 5 page instruction PDF.

You can download a copy from http://www.paperian.com/webdude/guest.htm



For a detailed look at the bikes construction visit http://webduderick.blogspot.com/2005_10_01_archive.html

Time lapse video of the bike’s construction.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=050k8KX9yw0

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Catwoman Director to Helm Akira

Originally posted on 2004-10-23 16:39 EDT @ http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2004-10-23/catwoman-director-to-helm-akira

In an interview with French website Télérama, Katsuhiro Otomo has stated that Pitof, the director of Catwoman, is set to direct the live action adaptation of Akira.

Wednesday, October 9, 2002

WB giving life to anime ‘Akira’

Originally posted on Wed., Oct. 9, 2002, 9:00pm PT by DANA HARRIS, CATHY DUNKLEY @ http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117874112.html?categoryid=1236&cs=1&query=katsuhiro+otomo+Stephen+Norrington

‘League’ team to tackle live-action Japanimation pic

Warner Bros. Pictures will produce a live-action, English-language remake of Japan’s anime classic “Akira.”

Stephen Norrington, who has just wrapped “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” has reteamed with “League” screenwriter James Robinson to develop the project. Jon Peters will produce.

Released in 1988, “Akira” was the brainchild of Katsuhiro Otomo, who directed the film and wrote the comic from which it stemmed.

The remake will tell the story of a bike gang leader who must rescue his younger brother from his involvement in Akira, a secret government project. In the process, the biker must do battle with anti-government activists, greedy politicians and irresponsible scientists.

Robinson told Daily Variety that he came to the project after Norrington had been developing the idea with Warners execs Lionel Wigram and Dan Lin, but had yet to find a take they liked.

“I’ve been a fan of the anime for many years and understood which elements would have to be brought to a live-action translation of it,” said the Endeavor-repped Robinson, who also wrote and directed “Comic Book Villains” for Lions Gate Films. “I’ve tried to retain as many iconic elements of the anime as possible.” Robinson is now fine-tuning a producer’s draft.

Twentieth Century Fox’s “League” also has its roots in animation, with Robinson adapting it from Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s comic book series. That pic is set in a version of Victorian-era England, where fictional characters like Dr. Jekyll, Capt. Nemo and Allan Quartermain actually exist and band together to fight crime for the queen.

Peters is currently busy ironing the red cape for “Superman,” which he is producing for Warners.