According to the Hollywood Reporter, Leonardo DiCaprio and Warner Bros. are teaming up to bring Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira to the screen as a live action adaptation. No word if DiCaprio will be screaming Kanada! or not, but as one would expect with the translation, things are going to be changed, for what I fear will be the worst.

The new story moves the action to “New Manhattan,” a city rebuilt by Japanese money.

Yikes! There’s a red flag right there.

On the plus side, the film will mark the directorial debut of Ruairi Robinson, who has been hired to direct what looks to be a two-part feature. Robinson is the genius mind behind the OSCAR nominated short subject animated film “Fifty Percent Grey”.

The film is scheduled to hit theaters next year (2009).

I have a feeling this subject is going to be even touchier than the speculation that surrounded the cast of the now defunct JLA movie, so let the battle begin in the comment section, or over in the Major Spoilers Movie Forum.

via Hollywood Reporter

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  1. Randallw
    February 21, 2008 at 1:36 am — Reply

    I’m not a fan of Mr DiCaprio and the idea of him trying to look tough as head of a biker gang is laughable. For a start it’s Tokyo. Why is a blond westerner with presumably italian heritage in a Japanese bike gang. They’ll have to rewrite the movie big time to accomodate him. Maybe it’ll be Neo-New-York. Akira is also pretty big into the whole Japan is the only country to really suffer a nuclear attack. I fear it’ll end up looking like a copy of Terminator only with psychic stuff.

  2. mosdef
    February 21, 2008 at 3:55 am — Reply

    honestly i think hollywood is really gonna mess up a classic story, come on leonado dicaprio, ugh

  3. Sanlear
    February 21, 2008 at 6:56 am — Reply

    We were talking about this on another board I go to. The part were his body swells up looked pretty bad even in the anime. The live version will probably be painfully bad to watch.

  4. BigBadLarry
    February 21, 2008 at 10:38 am — Reply

    I could ….somehow…. live with the fact, that they move the story into the western hemisphere.
    But Leonardo Di Caprio? Why???
    I have to say that he truely has become a better actor and is not the douchebag anymore from movies like “Titanic” but he absolutely doesn’t fit the action – star he would like to be I presume.
    Ok, there are very few real new action stars in the teenaged Hollywood (and AKIRA from the movies IS very young) but still…………………………………………………………………………………………….Di Caprio?

  5. Argus
    February 21, 2008 at 11:05 am — Reply


  6. Mogarth
    February 21, 2008 at 11:33 am — Reply


    this this saddens me and angers me all at the same time

  7. February 21, 2008 at 12:36 pm — Reply

    I will admit since the horror of Titanic that all the males here have had to suffer through with girlfriends / wives / etc… DiCaprio has become a great actor. He really has… I hated to admit it but he’s good now.

    He also however does not fit any of the younger characters in Akira and making this New Manhattan?

    A part of me may have just died on the inside.

  8. February 21, 2008 at 1:50 pm — Reply

    I don’t fault DiCaprio as an actor, in all seriousness. And if he is going to be starring in Akira, then I really can’t see a problem with that.

    However, I don’t think he’ll be pullnig any leads in this one. If the story is going to have one little shred of the source material in it, it’ll have Kaneda and his gang as schoolkids, and he’ll obviously be playing the role of someone older (The resistance guys, perhaps?)

    Either way, I’m holding off judgement ’til more news comes to light.

  9. theallmightyq
    February 21, 2008 at 2:45 pm — Reply

    This is, perhaps, the most horrible thing that I’ve heard of in a long time. Do the morons behind this expect the anime-loving community not to revolt against this abomination outright? Here’s to hoping that this whole thing falls by the wayside….just because these hollywood morons can’t come up with any original ideas doesn’t mean that they need to ruin those things that were perfect in their original incarnations and should therefore remain untouched.

  10. Gh0sthack
    February 21, 2008 at 8:24 pm — Reply

    we need to start a petition to boycott the making of this film.
    What next? Ghost in the Shell?

  11. Hana
    February 21, 2008 at 8:52 pm — Reply

    I am physically sickened by this

  12. February 22, 2008 at 6:20 am — Reply

    Please NO !
    It’s must be a joke ?

  13. Gin
    February 22, 2008 at 8:30 am — Reply

    What the heck. I think the “Americans need things localized so they can understand it” argument that film makers use when remaking a popular film/series can be shelved away at this time. Manga and anime are at least known well enough by the public that people could FATHOM that an earth-shattering event might take place somewhere other than America and that people other than Americans would be directly involved with it.

    Jeez, moving Godzilla to New York worked out, right, right?

    I’m going to assume that Yamashiro Shoji’s compositions have already been axed.

    On another note… I suppose DiCaprio could be one of the Espers, haha.

  14. Commissar Internet
    February 24, 2008 at 9:40 am — Reply

    New Manhattan? I SMELL HERESY! RIP AND TEAR!

  15. Cen Takada
    February 24, 2008 at 4:04 pm — Reply

    The translation of Kaneda to engrish…


    hmm yeah doesnt work, especially with DiBoy in the lead role, sorry man, but unless he really learned how to act in the last 5 years, and I mean REALLY act, then he doesnt fit the role.

    And why the EFF move the story to Manhatten?!?! The whole point of the story based on Japanese historical experience of a nuclear attack…

    I really hope the writers wont base the idea after 9/11

  16. Harry
    December 22, 2008 at 5:22 pm — Reply


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The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

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