Thursday, February 21, 2008

Two films based on the acclaimed manga Akira are coming soon to a cinema near you. Previously adapted in its native Japan as an animated film in 1988, this version will be live action and released as two films. The director will be first time feature film helmer Ruairi Robinson, an Irish filmmaker whose animated short film Fifty Percent Grey was nominated for an Oscar in 2002 (you can view it here). The biggest announced change will be the story's location: Neo-Tokyo in the manga will become New Manhattan in the films. Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the producers, but there's no word yet on if he'll also be one of the stars.

Charles Burns' award-winning graphic novel Black Hole also has a film version in the works. The story concerns a sexually transmitted disease that causes teenagers in the Seattle suburbs to physically mutate. The film will be directed by David Fincher (Se7en, Fight Club) from a screenplay by Roger Avary (Pulp Fiction) and Neil Gaiman.

Garth Ennis' dark comic book series The Boys is being brought to the screen by producer Neal H. Moritz, one of the executive producers of Tru Calling.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine has firmed up its supporting cast: Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool, Taylor Kitsch from television's Friday Night Lights as Gambit, Liev Schreiber as Sabretooth, Danny Huston as Colonel Stryker, Lynn Collins as Silver Fox, and Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas as John Wraith.

The direct-to-DVD animated film Justice League: The New Frontier will be released next Tuesday. Its voice cast includes David Boreanaz as Hal Jordan (Green Lantern), who recently gave an interview about his role. It's interesting to read how much Hal sounds like Angel.

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