Discussion » Film & TV » Warner Bros gives live-action 'Akira' the greenlig

  • Death
    Death wrote:

    Looks like Akira and Tetsuo are set to battle it out again after all.

    It also looks like the time Garrett Hedlund spent learning how to ride those lightcycles for "TRON Legacy" is going to pay off as he signs a deal to star in the film.

    I can think of few films that make less sense for a Westernized live-action remake than the original animated "Akira."  It is, like "Godzilla," literally born from the ashes of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, an anxious SF parable about living with the unexpected consequences of the nuclear age.  There is a strange surreal paranoia to the original, which is a massive compression of the manga series, and the youth of the main characters is important because the story deals with young people inheriting the horror that resulted from the generation before them.  The storytelling in that film is oblique, and the iconography is very Japanese.

    I've read several drafts of the project as they've been working on it, and they're certainly doing their own version.  When people protest about actors being the wrong age for the characters, they're basing that on the Japanese film.  That's really not what this American "Akira" is, which of course raises the question, "Why even call it 'Akira'?"

    I am actually surprised to hear that Warner Bros finally decided to greenlight the film.  I've been watching them develop this since they brought Ruairi Robinson onboard as writer/director, then through the Hughes Bros. being onboard, and now finally with Jaume Collet-Serra getting the studio to say yes.  According to the Variety story, they're aiming to make this for somewhere in the neighborhood of $90 million.  That's positively miserly by big-event-movie standards, and now I'm curious just to see what they're talking about with an "Akira" on that scale.

    I have a feeling this is going to be one of the hardest sells by any studio when it comes out, just by the nature of the story.  I'm sort of perversely fascinated in the idea of the film at this point, just because of how strange a choice it is.  I'm really not sure what the studio or the director sees in Hedlund, who was perfectly serviceable in "TRON Legacy."  I don't have a real problem with him, but I'm also not particularly compelled by him.  Maybe the smaller budget means they don't need to cast movie stars in the lead, but I'd imagine you want all the box-office help you can get on a project like this.

    Whatever the final casting, I assume now that the greenlight's been given, we'll be hearing a lot more about "Akira" in the weeks and months ahead.

    akira poster


  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:

    At first I was like:

    But then I read what Kyle said and I was like:

    Because, yes, it's probably going to suck, but that's no reason to get raw about Hollywood remakes of popular anime/manga. They'll run out of Western comic books to convert into movies sooner or later, right?

  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:

    @JulieZhu, I think the jury is still out on whether the scene where Akira's scene where Akira crushes Kaori is more disturbing than two girls slobbering over a ball-joint puppet's trannycockllama.

    @Kyle, I'm sure that fans of the manga felt much the same way about seeing it condensed into an anime in the first place. Anime production is to manga as Hollywood screenwriting is to comic books, and it seems like just another cross-medium clusterfuck. Then again, I only saw the Akira anime looong ago when I was first getting into the scene.

    Spiderman 3 seemed to have been written in a way that should have appeased diehard oldfags, but it ended up completely sucking balls. It could be that otaku just doesn't understand film, but then again, I'm not so sure Hollywood does anymore, either. On the other hand, Hollywood did some utterly fantastic shit with a couple of Phillip K. Dick short stories. Take Bladerunner, for instance. Sometimes the final product doesn't resemble the source material, but it still kicks serious ass if they hire the right people.

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