Producer Lazar: Live-Action Akira is 'Priority Project'
posted on by Egan Loo
Mad Chance producer Andrew Lazar (Jonah Hex, Space Cowboys) told the iFMagazine website at Comic-Con International last week that while the writers for the live-action film adaptation of the Akira manga are still working on a draft, "it is a real priority project for Warner Brothers." He cautioned however, that if the proposed project is green-lit for production, it will not be soon. "Sometimes movies need an enormous amount of prep, like this one. It is not realistic to go before the third quarter of next year for a 2011 release."
Lazar indicated that there is "a lot of interest from a variety of people" for possible directing duties. He also emphasized that he is "a very inclusive producer of underlying rights" and that the original manga creator Katsuhiro Otomo is an executive producer and consultant on the proposed live-action project.
The Hollywood Reporter and Variety entertainment trade periodicals both reported last year that Warner and Appian Way, the production company of actor Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic, The Aviator), will adapt the Akira manga into two live-action films. Each film would 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. 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.