Recent reports had suggested “Safe House’s” Daniel Espinosa and David Sandberg were frontrunners for the gig.
The movie, about two telekinetic brothers in rival biker gangs, will be based on the 1980s manga series by Katsuhiro Otomo, who also turned it into an anime film in 1988.
Movie chiefs first acquired the rights to Otomo’s series in 2002 and first attempted to make a live-action version in 2011, with Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Ken Watanabe, and Helena Bonham Carter in talks to star.
However, the project was reportedly shelved due to budget, script and casting issues.
Leonardo DiCaprio stepped in to resurrect “Akira” in 2015, and he recruited Daredevil’s Marco J. Ramirez to write the script. The “Revenant” star is still attached as a producer via his Appian Way company, and Ramirez is also still on board, according to TheWrap.com.
If “Akira” does move into production, it will be the latest anime film adapted for Hollywood following Scarlett Johansson’s new movie “Ghost in the Shell,” which is based on the Japanese graphic novel series of the same name.
An anime version was also made in 1995.