Live-action Akira about to get directors

Allen and Albert Hughes, the directors of this year’s apocalyptic Book Of Eli , are in talks with Warner Bros to direct the long-gestating live-action version of classic anime Akira .

The graphic novel by Katsuhiro Otomo was adapted into an anime film back in 1988 by Otomo himself. A live-action version has been attempting to birth itself since the early '90s.

Last September, we heard that a script had been written by Iron Man ’s Hawk Ostby and Mark Fergus and Eli ’s Gary Whitta, while Leonard DiCaprio’s production company Appian Way have signed on.

Warner Bros are apparently still looking to adapt the first three books of the story into two movies.

Otomo’s Akira film earned a decent $84m at the US box office on its initial release (that would be much higher if you factor in inflation). With their version, Warner Bros are looking for a budget of around $300m (yowsers).

The original anime story is set in 2019, post-World War III, where a rebuilt Neo-Tokyo is in the grip of terrorism and political discord. A motorcycle gang get caught up in the titular Akira project, a secret government operation that is dabbling in genetic experimentation. Could the new version be re-located to Neo-Manhattan? More when we get it.

Think the Hughes Brothers will do a good job? Talk to us...

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.