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