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In Development: Akira Remake, Fincher for Jolie's Cleopatra, Agatha Christie and The Fighter 2

by Sophia Savage
March 22, 2011 5:30 AM
9 Comments
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Thompson on Hollywood


- Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures is eyeing several actors for a reworked script of Katsuhiro Ôtomo’s six-volume graphic novel Akira, reports Deadline. Harry Potter franchise screenwriter Steve Kloves (also writer-director of The Fabulous Baker Boys) is working on the rewrite and Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli) is signed on to direct in August. In contention for role #1 ("Tetsuo") are Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield and James McAvoy; for role #2 ("Kaneda"), there's Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake and Joaquin Phoenix. Our picks would be McAvoy and Fassbender, who will likely pass on this retelling.

The studio plans to break the novels into two films. Unlike Japan's 1988 film adaptation (directed by Ôtomo), this retelling will take place in a rebuilt New Manhattan, where bike gang leader (Kaneda) must rescue his friend (Tetsuo) from his entanglement in secret government project Akira. Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran's Appian Way is producing with Andrew Lazar.

Thompson on Hollywood


- Cleopatra has leading lady Angelina Jolie, but the director is still to be determined. We polled readers to see which director had support back in October, and while David Fincher lost out to Ridley Scott with only 12%, he is now the man being considered for the job, reports Deadline. It would be the first time Jolie and Fincher have worked together, which alone makes for an interesting project. Timing could be an issue -- Fincher may want to helm two more films in the Dragon Tattoo series (also produced by Scott Rudin, the first comes out December 21), and the in-demand filmmaker has several other projects in the pipeline.

- Screenwriter Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park, The Tourist) is planning an adaptation of Agatha Christie's post-World-War II era Crooked House to be directed by playwright/director Neil LaBute later this year in London. Fellowes tells The Independent: "I love the period, I love Agatha Christie and I love the idea of reinventing it. It will be exciting to work with a really vivid, contemporary director – he's one of the originals around at the moment." He adds: "I love Christie and don't think it's at all dated. It's one of those things that never go stale: murder in a genteel setting appeals to audiences in Britain and around the world." Here's more.

- David O. Russell tells MTV he thinks it "would be awesome," to give The Fighter the sequel treatment: "I just love those characters and I think we could do a lot of fun and interesting stuff." And he'd like to write the script himself (per usual). "I would do it whenever anyone says they're ready…I'm ready to write it." As far as the story goes, Russell says: "You'd go towards the Gatti fights and you could go into the history of the family more. I really like the sisters." He's in no rush. The idea is "in it's infancy" and he has other projects lined up. The risk in making a sequel: turning these already perfervid characters into caricatures.

9 Comments

  • Corie | May 6, 2011 2:26 AMReply

    Mark Anthony should be play for a great actor no one because they have great eyes ,they are many Actors Colin Firth is a talent ,and a man mans what the late Richard Burton was ,even the voice sounds like the Burton ,Brad is great but I will not like him with Angie I will put all the kids in the movie,and the actor ho want best supporting actor for the fighter best I can not believed they are going to use a one from the teenagers saga Movies .

  • Ms. Mooks | March 31, 2011 11:41 AMReply

    Um...
    Why not get Asian-American actors/actresses to play roles MEANT for Asian actors/actresses? I'm very much annoyed with this casting-for-box-office-value bullshit. Correct me if I'm wrong but Tobey Maguire wasn't a bankable star when he landed the role of Spiderman. He became one, did he not? I wish Hollywood would grow a brain and stop assuming they know what people want. The film industry has an incredible power to change people's views on things. They should be pioneers. I'm an anime fanatic and it's upsetting that they're considering white actors.

  • Paul | March 24, 2011 7:05 AMReply

    It says plenty about the racist white supremacist society that we live in and its effect on the minds of people that the author of this article writes about a live action movie being made on "Akira" and it causes no pause to him seeing that it's only white actors being considered for these roles. It's even more salt on the wounds if the original Japanese names are being kept.

    It's blatantly obvious how overlooked actors of color are in Hollywood and even in golden opportunities like this where Asian American actors have ever reason to be considered and given a shot they are pushed back and ignored while whites continue to reap the benefits.

    Shame on this author for completely overlooking this whitewash that has become oh so the tradition in Hollywood since its inception.

  • Brian | March 24, 2011 3:26 AMReply

    Koto! You're okay. I was worried about you. I even asked about you in the Japan's Earthquake Aftermath thread. You're in Tokyo, right? How are things going there? I hope you and yours are safe.

  • Koto | March 24, 2011 1:55 AMReply

    DavidC,thanks for the reply!

  • DavidC | March 23, 2011 5:36 AMReply

    Albert is one of the Hughes Brothers: Menace II Society (1993), Dead Presidents (1995), American Pimp (1999), From Hell (2001), The Book of Eli (2010).

  • Koto | March 23, 2011 5:25 AMReply

    As far as I know both characters,Tetsuo and Kaneda are teenagers in the novel.They are both talented,but McAvoy and Fassbender look like their father.I think Jim Sturgess is perfect for Kaneda.He is very talented and is boyish enough for the role.But this project sounds awful.Glad to know Jim's name isn’t on the list.(And sorry,but who is Albert Hughes?Is he A-list or acclaimed director?)

  • Josh | March 23, 2011 3:35 AMReply

    Seriously? What kind of Caucasian parent names their sons Tetsuo or Kaneda? Get the race right, WB!

  • Brian | March 22, 2011 5:51 AMReply

    A live-action American AKIRA? With those horrible actors in contention??? Sounds awful. Why bother? Why don't they just make a completely new post-apocalyptic thriller about youthful bikers mixed up in a secret government experiment? There are enough variations on that theme that you don't have to rip off Otomo. I'll probably still hate it, but I won't have to compare it to Otomo's anime masterpiece.

    So far, no American remake of Japanese anime has worked onscreen. There's a reason why they do it the way they do it in anime, guys. Because it works in that format and that style. It doesn't work the other way. Most Japanese live-action remakes of anime or manga-based stories don't work either. Only occasionally, with things like LONE WOLF AND CUB and, 30 years later, CUTIE HONEY. But the Americans should leave it alone.

    Unless it's TRANSFORMERS, of course. That we've gotten right, but then the original "Transformers" was an American creation in the first place.

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