Warner Bros. Reportedly Eyeing New Directors For Live-Action Akira Film

If you thought Warner Bros. was over its plans to bring Akira to life, then think again. Anime has become an undeniable force of entertainment on the global stage, and Hollywood is looking to try its hand at the medium. This month, Paramount Pictures will release its take on Masamune Shirow’s Ghost in the Shell under director Rupert Sanders - but the studio is not the only company looking into anime.

Since 2002, Warner Bros. has tried and failed to come up with a live-action take on Akira. The hugely popular franchise is an iconic one for manga and anime enthusiasts, but Warner Bros. hasn’t been able to get it right. Since the studio acquired rights for the film, five directors have left the project for various reasons. It’s been quite some time since fans have heard anything about Hollywood’s live-action take on Akira.

However, that is all about to change now.

Earlier today, reports surfaced that Warner Bros. is ready to actively begin pursuing an Akira film. Jeff Sneider from Meet The Press recently told fans that his sources have told him the studio is circling two directors at the moment. Daniel Espinosa (Life) and David Sandberd (Lights Out) are reportedly being courted by Warner Bros. for the job.

Sneider went on to say that Sandberg seems to be less likely to take on the project given his current work with Warner Bros. However, Espinosa appears interested in a franchise gig and may very well jump at this chance.

If you are not familiar with Akira, then you can catch-up on its history with a little lesson. The story first began as a manga back in 1982 thanks to Katsuhiro Otomo. The sci-fi manga was then adapted into an anime film in 1988, and Akira continues to stun audiences with its thrilling content.

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(Photo: Tokyo Movie Shinsha)

The story is set in a world where Tokyo is destroyed by a mysterious explosion, setting off the beginning of World War III. A new city called Neo-Tokyo rises up in the mayhem, and it is plagued by seedy corruption. Akira then tells the tale of two biker gangs after they are pulled into a deadly government plot. When one of the members named Tetsuo is taken by scientists and experimented upon, the boy goes mad with power when he unlocks his telekinetic gifts. It then falls upon the gangs and Tetsuo’s best friend Kaneda to stop the crazed teenager before he destroys Tokyo for a second time.

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