Warner Bros. is going to make a live-action movie adaptation of Akira, split across two movies (the anime movie was a condensation/really just adaptation of the first half of the manga)
Produced by Appian Way, Leonardo DeCaprio's production company.
The problem is that they're going to westernize it. How Westernized? Two words: "New Manhattan" instead of "Neo-Tokyo". Yup, you heard me.
The Hollywood Reporter and Variety entertainment trade periodicals both report that Warner Brothers and Appian Way, the production company of actor Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic, The Aviator), will adapt Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira manga into two live-action films. Each film will 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.
The manga set in Neo-Tokyo, a city rebuilt after being destroyed in a mysterious explosion. 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. The first live-action film is scheduled for release in the summer of 2009 and will move the story's setting to "'New Manhattan,' a city rebuilt after being destroyed 31 years ago."
Ireland's Ruairi Robinson will be making his feature directorial debut with this project, and Gary Whitta (Book of Eli) is writing a script. Warner Brother once had the film rights for Akira before, but Executive Vice-President Greg Silverman (300, Batman Begins) had to re-acquire them from Kodansha after pitched bidding that reached seven figures. Mad Chance's Andrew Lazar, DiCaprio, and Appian Way's Jennifer Davisson will produce. No announcement has been made regarding the cast.
How does this bode for prospective future Live Action Eva movies? If they're a hit, they might be more receptive. On the other hand, they sound reprehensibly westernized.