After “From Hell,” the Hughes Brothers took almost 9 years to get their latest hit, “The Book of Eli,” to theaters. They won’t have to wait that long for their next project. In fact, the twin filmmakers have snagged one of the most sought after and complex projects ever attempted on screen: an adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s 1982 classic manga “Akira.”
Already brought to the big screen in a truncated animated form in 1988, Culture Vulture is reporting Albert and Allen Hughes’ live action version will be delivered in two parts, the first in 2011. Warner Bros. and the Hughes are going forward with a screenplay by “Iron Man” screenwriters Mark Fegus and Hawk Ostby. Leonardo DiCaprio and his Appian Way outfit is producing, but it’s unclear if the superstar will appear in the picture.
Otomo’s original manga was 2182 pages and centers on Akira, the leader of The Capsules, a motorcycle gang in post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo. A futuristic world where humans have developed psychokinetic abilities. How the filmmakers will adapt a series that covers many years — even in two films — is unclear except that the first film will cover the first three volumes and the second the rest.
More intriguingly is how the brothers and studio will take a relatively unknown property — at least to mainstream moviegoers — and create enough buzz about it to make it a successful two-part release. Some big name casting may be necessary to help the film create early buzz.
The report indicated an official announcement by Warner Bros. is expected by the end of the week.