Hollywood Targets Live-Action Anime

Warner Brothers Pictures has three live-action anime adaptations on the horizon to watch out for.  Rumors are swirling about these and they are all currently considered “in development” so a lot could change from now until they’re released.  But here’s what’s reportedly in the works so far…

 AKIRA – WB has been hard at work on a live-action adaptation of this legendary anime. It’s had all sorts of names attached to it at different times including the possibility of Zack Efron playing Akira and Morgan Freeman as the Colonel. Other rumors that Joseph Gordon-Levitt will be playing Tetsuo have also been shot down.  Nothing has been confirmed except that Leonardo di Caprio’s production company Appian Way is involved and Andrew Lazar (Get Smart) is producing.  IMDB reports nothing but a 2013 release date and the fact that it is still “in development.”  It does, however, look as though Albert Hughes (Book of Eli) is directing and the film will cover the first three manga volumes.

 BLEACH – Warner Bros. is also trying to get the rights to make a live-action BleachGet Smart producer Peter Segal is working to make this happen amidst desperate cries of “Noooo!” by many Bleach fans still raw after Dragon Ball Evolution and despite reluctance on the part of the anime’s creator/illustrator Tite Kubo.  Kubo told the LA Times:  “If it were possible to do Bleach as a live-action movie, I wouldn’t have drawn the manga.”   I haven’t found anything about who’s in it but the casting director will definitely have their work cut out for them.

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DEATH NOTE – Shane Black, the guy who wrote Lethal Weapon and more recently Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, has reportedly signed on to direct an American version of Death Note for Warner.  He will be joined by writers Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry who are currently working with him on another attempt at a film version of the Doc Savage comic which is slated for a 2012 release.  No word yet on who will be playing “L” but whoever he is will have some big shoes to fill.  Matsuyama Kenichi was great as the lollipop-eating investigative genius in the Death Note films released by Warner Japan.

 smtoda Hollywood Targets Live Action Anime

[Sources:  Anime News Network, IndieWire, IFilm]

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