Following drafts by Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby (Children of Men, Iron Man), Gary Whitta (The Walking Dead, The Book of Eli) and Albert Torres (Henry Poole is Here), the latest writer to try his hand at Katsuhiro Otomo’s colossal tale is Steve Kloves.
Kloves is well-known to bosses at Warner Brothers and has a reputation for carving good films out of long novels and has until recently earned a solid reputation for doing this without alienating existing fanbases.
The Amercian screenwriter has adapted every Harry Potter film with the exception of The Order of the Pheonix, but while the series’ earlier movies were well received, some fans have argued that he has struggled with the last two. (The Half-Blood Prince largely ignored the Voldemort character study of the book and instead opted to concentrate on teenage hormonal strops).
As such, Kloves will certainly have his work cut out with Akira (even though it is slated to be split into two films) as it is both extremely detailed and boasts an equally ardent fanbase. At this stage, the studio’s plan seems to be to transpose Katsuhiro Otomo’s Neo Tokyo to New Manhattan. Utterly unconfirmed rumours have also linked Zac Efron to the role of protagonist Kaneda, and Morgan Freeman to the Colonel.
Shooting is pencilled in for the summer, but Warner Brothers have admitted that there is much of this pre-production still to be wrangled.