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Akira live action - Taika Waititi to direct - May 2021


Don Rosco
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Why rename tetsuo but not kaneda?

New New York Tokyo will be a mix of Americans and Japanese I imagine... because if there were no Americans at all, people would just spit at the posters and walk on by, of course. I guess it gives them a semi-reason to be speaking English - 'people' wouldn't like subtitles.

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  • 7 months later...

The project is dead according to Bloody Disgusting:

It has been a year and a half since we broke the news exclusively here on B-D - and about a year since THR confirmed (without credit of course) - that Ruairi Robinson would be making his directorial debut on the live-action adaptation of Akira, a massive two-part apocalypse story that was being produced by Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way and Warner Bros. Pictures. Sad news comes in this weekend as we have learned that not only has Robinson left the project, but Tetsuo and Kaneda's adventure is "dead as a doornail," a report we've confirmed with two separate sources. I can only hope it gets revived in the near future as this could have been one of the coolest effin' movies ever.

"Akira" originated in 1988 as a manga and then as an animated film co-written and directed by Katsuhiro Otomo. The story was set in a neon-lit futuristic post-nuclear war "New Tokyo" in 2019 where a teen biker gang member is subjected to a government experiment which unleashes his latent powers. The gang's leader must find a way to stop the ensuing swathe of destruction.

With its mature themes and cutting-edge animation, "Akira" was a milestone movie in anime and even animation circles, and led the way for anime making inroads into Western pop culture in the 1990s.

The new story was to move the action to "New Manhattan," a city rebuilt by Japanese money and was to hit theaters THIS summer.

"Akira" would have marked the feature directorial debut for Robinson who was nominated for a best animated short Oscar in 2001 for a sci-fi comedy called "Fifty Percent Grey." He also wrote and directed a sci-fi short titled "The Silent City" (watch it at BDTV), Robinson is repped by CAA and 3 Arts Entertainment.

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The thing is the manga lends itself much better to a film than trying to remake the anime. There is no wierd mutant thing and there is a lot less wierd psychic stuff. It plays out more like a youth rebelion story than a wierd end of the world psychic story.

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The thing is the manga lends itself much better to a film than trying to remake the anime. There is no wierd mutant thing and there is a lot less wierd psychic stuff. It plays out more like a youth rebelion story than a wierd end of the world psychic story.

Sorry, really, are you joking??

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  • 7 months later...

The Hughes Brothers are the latest people to be linked with the directors job.

From /Film:

This is unexpected. Evidently Warner Bros. really liked what Albert and Allen Hughes did with The Book of Eli, because the brothers are reportedly finalizing a deal to direct the long-discussed live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s manga Akira. Originally floated in early 2008 as a two-part film to be directed by Ruairi Robinson, the films were put off by the WGA strike, then the scripts took forever to crack and the project was reported dead. In September of last year the Akira remake was said to be alive and well, and that brings us to this interesting point. Did the Hughes Brothers show the proper chops in The Book of Eli to pull this off?

Vulture has the news, and says that the plan is once again to make two films, the better to cram in all of the six-volume graphic novel’s complexity. (Recall if you will that the animated film was produced and released before the serial manga had finished publication, and was written with a different final act.) Vulture says the first film is due out next year, which is a quick turnaround for what seems like a huge project.

Last time we heard about the current screenplay, it was set in New Manhattan. The original manga and movie were set in Neo-Tokyo. The city is a new megalopolis built decades after the destruction of the original Tokyo in what seemed to be a nuclear attack, but was actually the manifestation of psychic power in a young boy named Akira. When similar powers awaken in Tetsuo, the runty member of a scrappy motorcycle gang, a new wave of massive conflict and destruction is set into motion. I’m wildly curious to read this script and see how it manages all the details.

Looking back, I suppose it isn’t totally out of left field that the Hughes Brothers would get this gig. Their Book of Eli screenwriter Gary Whitta was working on the first Akira script for Appian Way and WB, and while he isn’t the writer now (Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby are writing) that connection can’t be discarded.

Are the Hughes Brothers the right guys for this job? I’m not sure. They took Eli a lot more seriously than I think the script called for; had it been make as a slightly less self-important story it could have been a great b-movie. I thought the result was a bit dry and plodding, and given all the complexity of Akira ‘dry and plodding’ is certainly a massive risk. (One that Katsuhiro Otomo didn’t manage to sidestep when he directed the anime of his own manga.) They’ll also have to hone their eye for mainstream casting. Mila Kunis, so great in a movie like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, was a big mistake for Eli. Making a similar mistake in Akira will be costly. The characters have to carry the audience through a lot of complex plot, so any miscasting will have dire effect.

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The thing is the manga lends itself much better to a film than trying to remake the anime. There is no wierd mutant thing and there is a lot less wierd psychic stuff. It plays out more like a youth rebelion story than a wierd end of the world psychic story.

Very obviously you only read up until issue 16 of the 38 parts, which is pretty much exactly what happens in the film. The whole thing goes batshit mental with psychics and a whole load of other crazy shit from 17 onwards.

If anything, this would lend itself to a serialised TV show, following the events that take place as they do in the comics. While it would be awesome the probable costs involved make that thought fanciful at best.

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Very obviously you only read up until issue 16 of the 38 parts, which is pretty much exactly what happens in the film. The whole thing goes batshit mental with psychics and a whole load of other crazy shit from 17 onwards.

If anything, this would lend itself to a serialised TV show, following the events that take place as they do in the comics. While it would be awesome the probable costs involved make that thought fanciful at best.

Would need to be a 6 season HBO series with a budget of $100 for each season. :)

It's actually amazing how many books I read where I think to myself "This would be shit as a movie, but have HBO/Showtime adapt it and I'm there!"

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  • 4 months later...

Why not just take the shell of the original film and shoot that? Why try and do the comics when even the comics own creator decided it was too mammoth and condensed the story into a movie format that was hugely popular and loved by millions around the world?

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Would need to be a 6 season HBO series with a budget of $100 for each season. :(

It's actually amazing how many books I read where I think to myself "This would be shit as a movie, but have HBO/Showtime adapt it and I'm there!"

From the imagination of Iain M Banks, comes a new HBO show... "The Culture". Starting this fall, in my dreams.

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Why not just take the shell of the original film and shoot that? Why try and do the comics when even the comics own creator decided it was too mammoth and condensed the story into a movie format that was hugely popular and loved by millions around the world?

He didn't condense the story for the film, it was put into production before he'd even finished the manga! It does seem like a mighty task to get the whole story across though; in fact it's so massive I haven't even finished reading it yet...

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Okay, but he chose to 'adapt' the story for screen, not condense what he was already sketching. I mean, he wasn't making it up as he went a long was he? He had a story outline already and chose to reimagine it for the film, and no doubt with good reason.

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