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Today’s awesome rumor of the day: Christopher Nolan may be involved in an Akira film trilogy

Christopher Nolan may be involved in an Akira film trilogy

There’s a new rumor floating around, claiming that the long gestating live-action adaptation of the wildly popular property Akira may be back on track at Warner Bros. According to the source of this delightful and potentially infuriating new rumor, the proposed film will actually be a trilogy, and it will be overseen in some capacity by Christopher Nolan.

I can’t stress enough that this is a rumor, but it is a very cool one that actually makes a lot of sense.

Technically, it’s not a “rumor,” per se. The news comes from anonymous sources speaking to Den of Geek. The site has a good track record, but it’s still a whole lot of “this person said this off the record.”

Even if the sources are legit, it doesn’t mean this will actually happen. It may be completely true, but it could still be nothing more than talk. It’s pretty awesome talk though.

The report doesn’t have much in the way of details, just that the studio is hot on the property again and that Nolan has met with another, unnamed filmmaker within the last three months.

Akira first appeared in 1982 as a manga created by Katshuhiro Otomo. The story is set in a dystopian future decades after what appears to be a nuclear explosion destroys Tokyo, leading to World War III.

Nearly four decades later, the city of Neo-Tokyo is inundated with terrorism and gangs. One of those gangs, led by a young man named Kaneda, comes across a powerful child with psychic powers. That helps to activate the latent psychic abilities of another member of the gang, Tetsuo. As his powers grow, Tetsuo becomes increasingly more dangerous and unstable.

The series ran for nearly eight years and consisted of six volumes. In 1988, a truncated version of the story was adapted into an anime that is firmly embedded near the top of many “best anime of all time” lists. In 2002, WB obtained the rights to the property, and has since been trying to adapt it. Numerous directors, stars, and producers have been attached at one point or another, but none have gained any traction.

At one point, the Hughes Bros. were actively developing the film and planned on splitting it in two. The plan was to move the story to Manhattan instead of Tokyo, and cast the film with western actors instead of Japanese. This kicked off a fair amount of controversy as fans decried the “white-washing” of the film. That version fell apart though.

The most recent word on the film came back in June as Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company began developing the film, with Marco J. Ramirez (Sons of Anarchy) attached to write the script. It’s not clear if the new potential adaptation will set the film in Tokyo, or “westernize” it.

Assuming the new report is correct, it would re-team Nolan and DiCaprio, who worked together on Inception. That doesn’t mean that either will actually be working on the day-to-day of the film though. Both may just be involved as producers – again, assuming this is all true. There are some good reasons to think it is though.

WB has been trying to adapt the property for 13 years now. Nolan is one of their top creative visionaries right now, so it would make sense for the studio to turn to him for help, in much the same way that it did with Man of Steel. If nothing else, it would lend credibility to the project.

There is some speculation that Nolan may actually direct, although that is circumstantial at best. Last week, WB added an untitled Nolan film to its slate of upcoming movies. The project is unnamed and no details were announced, but it is set for July 21, 2017. Nolan is said to have finished the screenplay for the film earlier this summer; that would fit with the rumored time frame that suggests he began meeting with people about Akira within the last few months, but that’s hardly conclusive.

It’s also worth noting that a few days before the Den of Geek report broke, Mark Hughes at Forbes made a compelling argument for Nolan’s next project to be Akira.

This is all unconfirmed, of course, but if you are a fan of the property, it’s hard not to get a little bit excited by this.

Assuming it’s not all BS, of course.



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Founder and DBP boss. Ryan likes the Kansas Jayhawks, long walks on the beach, and high fiving unsuspecting people.
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