Report: Book of Eli's Hughes Brothers in Akira Talks
posted on by Egan Loo
New York Magazine's Vulture blog reports that the Hughes brothers — the directors behind Menace II Society, Dead Presidents, From Hell, and The Book of Eli — are negotiating with the Warner Brothers movie studio to direct the planned live-action film adaptation of Katsuhiro Ōtomo's Akira manga. ComingSoon.net reported in December that Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, the writers of the first Iron Man film, wrote the most recent script drafts for the two proposed films. According to the Vulture blog, "an official release from the studio is expected later this week" regarding Albert and Allen Hughes' involvement.
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. Otomo is an executive producer and consultant on the project.
According to The Hollywood Reporter and Variety in 2008, Warner and Appian Way 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.
Update: More background information added.