Speaking this morning from an early press day for The Book of Eli, screenwriter Gary Whitta was asked about his contributions to an early draft of the live-action Akira film, a project that, since it's original announcement, has met with varying degrees of progress, including rumors that it would be split into two films and that work on the project had stopped altogether.
"...I haven't worked on it for about a year," says Whitta, "...The version I worked on was about going back to the source and doing the manga version. We were going to adapt the whole six-episode graphic novel."
Of interest is the note that the project would encompass all six volumes of "Akira" creator Katsuhiro Otomo's manga. The famous 1988 anime adaptation was based primarily on the first two volumes. Whitta also made mention of Otomo's own (albeit slight) involvement:
"We got notes from [Otomo] and we kept in touch, but we never had a formal meeting or anything. The script I worked on was very, very preliminary. We did a couple of drafts of the script but, when I was there at least, it never got wrapped up to the point where I think he would get really hands on."
The film now appears to be in the hands of screenwriters Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby and it is unknown if they are starting from scratch or expanding on Whitta's work.
"They don't keep you in the loop after you're done," says Whitta, "...now I go on the internet to find out what's happening with it like everyone else."