Deadline are reporting that the outlook for Warner Bros/Legendary Pictures' live-action adaptation of Akira is looking a lot brighter today after a new screenplay by frequent Harry Potter writer Steve Kloves has been turned in that appeases both the director Allen Hughes and the studio, with the hunt now on to find the two leads for the project. You may remember we reported last month that Hughes and WB President Jeff Robinov were at loggerheads over the project, one of the disagreements being over casting (Silver wanted Brad Pitt and offered him a lead role against Hughes' wishes who wanted an unknown, but Pitt declined anyway) but the friction seems to have been solved by a mutual liking to the new script. The usual subjects of mid twentysomething white actors, along with a few others, have been sent the draft draft to gauge interest for the roles of Tetuso (Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield and James McAvoy) and Kaneda (Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake and Joaquin Phoenix). They are said to be the only groups of actors that Warner Bros are keen on and the two leads will come from the above pool. An August start date is penciled in, which I'm certain will rule out Garfield (still shooting Spider-Man 3) and Pine (Star Trek 2 begins around then) and possibly some of the others. As I'm sure die hard Akira fans feared, the setting has changed from the futuristic Neo-Tokyo to a 'rebuilt' New Manhatten with the idea of Hollywoodising and watering down the themes and turning it into a PG-13 rated fare aimed at American audiences (though they have kept the same monikers, weird!) and the first film will adapted from the first three in the Manga series with the hope of setting up a two film franchise. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQnw35kR6Pw Interestingly and not for the first time, only Allen Hughes' name is mentioned in Deadline's story. At this point it looks pretty clear that he is flying solo on this one, and his brother Albert who he co-directed From Hell and The Book of Eli with, is not involved this time.