Live-action Akira planned

Hollywood Reporter notes that anime and manga classic Akira is getting the live-action big-screen treatment courtesy of Leonardo DiCaprio and Warner Bros.

A link to British comics is of course tenuous but Marvel UK did run the manga in the short-lived monthly title Meltdown, which I edited back in 1991.

Goodness only knows what Editorial Director Paul Neary was thinking when he negotiated the deal to reprint this amazing comic by Katsuhiro Otomo as even if Meltdown was continuing even today, it would probably still not have finished running the strip…

Gary Whitta has been hired to write the adaptation, which DiCaprio will produce.

Akira originated in 1988 as a manga, later published in the West by Marvel’s Epic Comics, then Dark Horse and then as an animated film co-written and directed by Katsuhiro Otomo. The story is set in a neon-lit futuristic post-nuclear war Tokyo in 2019 where a teen biker gang member is subjected to a government experiment which unleashes his latent powers. The gang’s leader must find a way to stop the ensuing swathe of destruction.

(Meltdown also reprinted strips such as Nightbreed and Light and Darkness War and was, like the weekly Havoc, I suspect, a stop gap to get new titles on UK shelves while the real Marvel UK regeneration, codenamed Genesis 1992 that included Death’s Head, Warheads and others, was developed).

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