Perhaps the news that Warner Brothers attempt to make a live-action version of the classic anime film Akira was dead was perhaps a bit premature.
Collider is reporting that Children Of Men and Iron Man scripters Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby are the latest writers to take a crack at adapting the popular animated film. Previously, Gary Whitta was working on a script that would split the original film into two parts for Leonardo DiCaprio’s production shingle Appian Way. Prior to that, Stephen Norrington took a crack at the script for producer Jon Peters.
I have to admit that I admire Warner’s tenacity in trying to get a live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s classic anime up and running, no matter how much of a bad idea I think it is. The success of the original film can be traced to its careful balance between visual style and story substance. To try and capture that particular lightening in a bottle twice, especially when moving from the animated realm to the live action, seems doomed to fail.
But I have to wonder at the amount of development costs that the studio has accrued so far. Is there a point where the bean counters decide that the studio has spent enough and just pulls the plug on the whole thing, or do egos come into play and demand that the film be greenlit, that too much has been spent to NOT not go forward, incurring further expense on the gamble that the film will ultimately be a hit and recoup the already large layout of cash. (I have a feeling that this may have partially informed Warner’s decision to proceed with Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns after years and millions of dollars spent on various attempts to get a Superman franchise relaunched.)