Wondering what the big scifi eye candy of summer 2009 will be? Chances are it'll be the live action version of post-apocalyptic manga classic Akira, executive produced by creator of the original series Katsuhiro Otomo. Adapting the six-book series into two movies, the new version of this dystopian tale of a boy who becomes a mega-weapon will be the feature debut of Irish director Ruairi Robinson. Wondering what to expect from next year's next big thing? Read on after the jump.
Akira debuted as a manga strip twenty-six years ago, running for eight years in the Japanese magazine Young (It's been reprinted twice in the US, by Marvel Comics in the '90s, and Dark Horse in the beginning of this decade). The plot centers around Shotaro Kaneda, leader of motorcycle gang The Capsules, his psychic one-time best friend and now enemy, Tetsuo Shima, and eponymous character Akira, a cryogenically-frozen child whose destruction of Tokyo decades earlier started World War III and precipitated the creation of the hypermodern metropolis Neo-Tokyo. Add in secret military organizations, terrorists and corrupt government figures and you have the kind of sprawling epic that Warner Bros is undoubtedly hoping will capture the hearts and minds of the public in an almost Matrix-like fashion next year.
For the manga snobs amongst us, there'll always be the animated movie.
WB takes franchise turn with 'Akira' [Variety]