The long-gestating live-action adaptation of 'Akira,' Khasatsuhiro Otomo's six-volume graphic novel about bikers and psionic kids involved in a secret military project in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo, is now picking up steam for Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures.

According to Deadline, a rewrite by Steve Kloves was sent to director Albert Hughes, and the script has been sent out to two sets of actors for the two main characters: Tetsuo Shima (to Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield and James McAvoy) and Shôtarô Kaneda (to Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake and Joaquin Phoenix).

The film -- which has its story transposed from Japan to a New Manhattan -- is scheduled for an August start. The studio acquired the rights some two years ago in a seven-figure deal.

'Akira' was first adapted for the screen in 1988 as an animated feature by Otomo, who also directed.