Akira‘s live-action interpretation has been stuck in development hell at least since 2002, when it was first publicly announced. Since then, various directors have hopped on and off the Warner Bros. project, and though now it’s looking like Fast and Furious and Star Trek Beyond‘s Justin Lin could be at the helm, it was a very different picture early in proceedings. One of the first attached was Irish director Ruairí Robinson, best known for his sci-fi horror tales such as The Last Days on Mars and the Child’s Play-like short ‘BlinkyTM’.

He was well into the production stages before he left, for the studio then to hire From Hell‘s Albert and Allen Hughes. Bloody Disgusting previously dug up the Hughes brothers’ unused Akira storyboards, but now the horror news site has discovered concept art from Robinson’s incarnation of the film, originally shared by himself in 2014. As well as imagining Captain America‘s Chris Evans as Kaneda and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tetsuo (renamed “Travis”), the stunning setting concepts from Charlie Wen frame Neo-Manhattan as a Blade Runner-esque cityscape of mountainous rain-slicked steel and concrete.

Kaneda and Tetsuo

If you’re curious to see more, a full gallery of concept art, plus storyboards, can be found at Robinson’s official website.

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2 Comments on "News: Blade Runner visions of live-action Akira flood early director’s concepts"

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I like Chris Evans and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, they’re both good actors and I love looking at them…they’re gorgeous. Even so, I don’t want to see either of them cast as Kaneda or “Travis” in a live-action Akira film. I cringe at the thought of the liberties that will be taken with casting and adapting a live-action Akira film. There are far too many Asian actors out there for Chris Evans and Joseph Gordon-Levitt to be cast in these roles.

Dominic Cuthbert

I agree. The erasure of Asian actors in Hollywood has already gone on long enough. To see Akira full of casicasions would be a crime.