Where to even begin with Akira? Katsuhiro Otomo‘s magnum opus, it was one of the works that made manga and anime huge in the West, as influential and seminal as The Drifting Classroom or Astroboy combined. The manga told the long and winding tale of a post-apocalyptic Japan, struggling in the aftermath of a psychic apocalypse and a small cadre of troubled teenagers and superpowered children that threaten to reduce our world into a cinder. Also, a hellishly bleak outlook of modern Japanese society. Needless to say, the manga’s themes make it a tough cookie to swallow, especially when it comes to adapting it in any on-screen format, but Katsuhiro Otomo might have some enlightening news on the matter…
FUUUU RAGE: Americanized Live-Action Version of ‘Akira’ is Back On. Jaume Collet-Serra Set to Direct
Mother fucker! Warner Bros. still intends to make an “Americanized” live-action version of Katsuhiro Otomo‘s Akira. Blargh! I thought we were done with this. Shit. Fuck. Asscakes! Seriously, Keanu Reeves declined the offer for the starring role of Kaneda. Warner Bros. shut down an entire department working on pre-production. Director, Albert Hughes said “peace. I’m out”. And, considering all the controversy over character white-washing (Keanu Reeves clearly isn’t Asian), you’d think Warner Bros. would take note and file this project under the “Just let it die” policy. *shakes head* Nope!
The bastardization of the classic manga and anime is very much alive. WB is looking to Jaume Collet-Serra, the director of Orphan and the action thriller Unknown, to direct Akira.
Variety has the report, saying that the budget for the film has been pulled back to about $90m — that’s down considerably from what was looking like a $150m movie in its most recent incarnation when Albert Hughes was attached.
Beyond that, we don’t know what new casting choices WB has in mind, or if the latest script, by Harry Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves, is still in play (Book of Eli writer Gary Whitta wrote an early draft, and Albert Torres and Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby also wrote drafts.). Most likely the film will still be set in New Manhattan, with Variety describing the story only as following “the leader of a biker gang who saves his friend from a medical experiment”.
Nothing againsts Jaume Collet-Serra, but the animated classic is already in peak perfection, anything he, or WB intends to do will most certainly cheapen it. It’ll end up looking a little something like this cartoon by Harry Partridge which brings so much truth to this sad joke: