Oddly enough, when I was writing yesterday about the Wachowski Bros possibly doing a live action remake of Ninja Scroll, and the fact that several other live action anime projects are also in the works around Hollywood, I totally forgot about the previously announced adaptation of the seminal sci-fi anime film Akira, which is being directed by Ruairi Robinson. Today some news has come out about the project that is pretty damn exciting in my opinion.
First of all, the official word is that Leonardo DiCaprio will be producing the film under his Appian Way banner, but there are a lot of strong rumours indicating that DiCaprio will also star in the lead role as Kaneda. I know a lot of people still see DiCaprio as nothing more than a pretty boy heart-throb from back in the days of Titanic and Romeo + Juliet, but I think he is a fantastic actor, and his involvement alone would be enough to sell me on it. However, that’s not the only casting announcement we have to give today. Ain’t It Cool News claims that Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Brick, The Lookout) has been cast as Tetsuo in the film as well. If there’s any young actor out there with the chops to pull off this role, it’s gotta be him. Needless to say, this just jumped up on my list of anticipated movies for next year.
The other interesting announcement is that they are actually doing two Akira movies, not just one. It seems like this is the order of the day now that Peter Jackson has decided to do two movies based on The Hobbit. Well at least, they’re not trying to stretch everything into a trilogy anymore, and with the manga to draw from, I’m sure there’s plenty more to flesh out the story. The first Akira flick will be released sometime in summer 2009. Are you looking forward to this?