About a year ago the official news broke (it had been rumored for ages before then) that a live-action American adaptation of the classic anime Akira was in the works. It was to be produced by Leonardo DiCaprio’s company Appian Way, along with Warner Bros. Pictures, and directed by newcomer to feature-length filmmaking Ruairi Robinson. Well, those who were excited at the prospect of seeing Akira come to live-action life will be disappointed with the latest news:

The live-action Akira movie is being reported as dead.

Bloody Disgusting reports that the live-action American Akira is, “dead as a doornail,” with Robinson leaving the project as the director only being a small part of the story. Unfortunately, we don’t have any other information as to the reasons why the project may have been canceled.

To be based more on the comic book (oops, I mean graphic novel) than the previous animated film, Akira was going to be split into two films, with Warner Bros. even looking to get the first movie out for the summer of this year. Well, looking at the summer movie release schedule, I don’t see a live-action Akira movie, so they obviously didn’t get going with the project as quickly as was first reported. The project would have seen the Oscar-nominated animated short film director Ruairi Robinson making his live-action, feature-length film debut.

If you’re not familiar, Akira takes place in the future and is about a secret military project that endangers neo-Tokyo when it turns a young biker gang member into a rampaging psionic psychopath that only two kids and a group of others with psionic abilities can stop.

There are probably just as many people who are in favor of a live-action Akira movie as are against it. Just some of the arguments against it (brought up on message boards and the like) are that it should only exist within the world of anime, and that a live-action film would be ridiculous. One of the reasons in favor of it is to see the fantastical storyline brought to real life, hopefully with some amazing CGI special effects to make it look as amazing as possible (there are many other points on each side of the argument of course, but those are just a couple of examples).

What do you think of the live-action Akira movie reportedly being canceled? Were you for or against the idea of a live-action adaptation?

Sources: Bloody Disgusting and First Showing