Warner Bros. has hired Harry Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves to polish its live-action adaptation of the acclaimed cyberpunk manga Akira, Variety reports.
This latest movement follows last week’s report that James Franco is in talks to star in the movie, from The Book of Eli director-producer team of Albert and Allen Hughes.
Warner Bros. acquired the rights from Japanese publisher Kodansha in February 2008, setting up a two-movie project with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way. Ruairi Robinson (The Silent City) was initially tapped to direct from a script by Gary Whitta. But just last February, the Hughes brothers were brought on board for an adaptation that’s now on its fifth screenwriter.
Serialized from 1982 to 1990, Katsuhiro Otomo’s groundbreaking manga is set in a post-apocalyptic Tokyo — a near-future metropolis called Neo-Tokyo — gripped by gang violence and anti-government terrorism. When Tetsuo, a young member of a biker gang, manifests telepathic powers, he draws the attention of the government, which fears he poses a threat. Otomo himself adapted Akira in 1988 in what’s widely considered a landmark anime. He’ll executive produce Warner Bros.’ live-action film.
Kloves wrote the screenplay for every Harry Potter film except Order of the Phoenix. He also penned Wonder Boys and The Fabulous Baker Boys.
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