Akira back in action

It’s been ages since we’ve heard any word on development of live-action versions of classic Manga Akira, with various studios planning movies but nothing quite working out.

Now Warner Bros – which had the rights, let them lapse and has now grabbed them again – has announced it intends to make not one, but two films from Katsushiro Otomo’s legendary Japanese comic tale. Screenwriter (and former Total Film contributor) Gary Whitta’s penning the script for the first film, which will adapt the first three books of the cycle, while Rurari Robinson will direct what they’re calling “Blade Runner meets City Of God”. Leonardo DiCaprio’s only listed as producer, though Ain’t It Cool is reporting that Joseph Gordon-Levitt will play Tetsuo to DiCaprio’s Kaneda . Great news if it pans out…

Variety has all the details , but those looking for a refresher should rent the anime version, which chronicles the action set in New Manhattan, a futuristic cityscape loaded with cyborgs, screeching motorcycles, plus a heady theme of social isolation, corruption and power.