Akira Movie Update

A very short, but revealing update on the live action Akira movie from an interview with Jonah Hex Producer Andrew Lazar over at Collider...

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By Mark "RorMachine" Cassidy - 6/18/2010
In the interview, Lazar covers a lot of movie ground, mainly focusing on Jonah Hex which hist theaters this week. But since the reviews for that movie are already coming in, and they are less than glowing! The main part of the interview that caught my attention was a short update on the long time coming live action adaptation of , arguably the most popular Manga/Anime there is.

Lazar says..

..they just hired a new writer and they’re conceptualizing it right now. Lots of pre-production right now. He also says WB management loves the property and the studio is very enthusiastic about the project. Confirms the first movie would be volumes 1-3 and a second movie would be 4-6



This movie has gone through rewrites, studio changes, director switches, outright cancellation..many people thought it would never see the light of day..and many people were also glad of it! The latest script(which may be retooled now) saw the action shift from Neo Tokyo to New Manhattan, and would undoubtedly have been cast with American actors(I doubt that will change anyway). Last casting rumors saw Leonardo DeCaprio and Joseph Gordon Levitt put forward for the roles of Kaneda and Tesuo, but all has been quite on that front since.

As a huge fan of Akira I obviously have my doubts as to how a big Hollywood studio will handle it, but at the same time I'm glad that it is at least still being made. There is always a chance that despite the changes, it will keep the fans happy, and even if it doesn't, well, we always have the comics and the Anime! Which, lets not forget, despite being directed by the creator of the Manga, Katishiro Otomo, still took plenty of liberties with the story and characters itself. With such an ambitious undertaking its a necessary evil.

Here is the full video interview. Its worth checking out for some extra Jonah Hex tid bits.

Producer Andrew Lazar Interview JONAH HEX; Plus Updates on AKIRA, GET SMART 2, ONE FINGER SALUTE, More from ColliderVideos on Vimeo.



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KANEDAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
Source: collider.com
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screams - 6/18/2010, 11:13 AM
Some movies just shouldn't be made.
LEEE777 - 6/18/2010, 11:20 AM
Man if its half as good as the animated movie, we're going to be blown away with this live-action!!!
flames809 - 6/18/2010, 11:31 AM
2 GREAT ACTORS IN ONE MOVIE. I'LL GO SEE IT NEVER READ THE GRAPHIC NOVEL
Stumblin - 6/18/2010, 11:31 AM
The anime was awesome, personally don't see any reason to make it live action. At the same time if they pull it off it'll be pretty amazing.
crazyray - 6/18/2010, 11:36 AM
anyone think that the story and concepts might be too heady for an american audience??? not hating, but the general public pretty stupid. I just dont want to see it dumbed down to generate $$$. this is what got me into anime as a kid, hold it dear.
Ranger14 - 6/18/2010, 11:39 AM
PLEASE let those be casting RUMORS! DiCaprio as Kaneda? He could play his father...maybe, but way too frickin' old for the part. That's already straying too far from the source for my taste. I can handle moving the location to New Manhattan, but Kaneda shouldn't be old.
RorMachine - 6/18/2010, 11:47 AM
Nah the Dicaprio/Levitt thing were just rumors at the time..they were never officially debunked, but at this point with the new writers/studio, even if they were at one point interested, its very unlikely. Ranger, yeah Leo would have been pushing it! Levitt could pass for late teens/early 20s. I mean the original characters were supposed to be 14 and 15 which is in itself completely unrealistic given whet they do/go through/handle, so I hope that that is actually a change they make.
Ranger14 - 6/18/2010, 12:03 PM
Ror@ Yes, I always found it interesting that the heroes in animes are always teens, but that markets to the teens who watch it and us adults just deal with it. :-) I definitely want to see Kaneda as someone who is 20ish +, but nothing near the age of a DiCaprio.
Ranger14 - 6/18/2010, 12:14 PM
There are a lot of great animes I would love to see be made into live action movies IF they could pull it off properly. That being said, I doubt Hollywood can pull it off properly, so I will be skeptical until proven otherwise. I do have to say I enjoyed the Death Note movie.
BmanHall - 6/18/2010, 12:16 PM
Please don't be like DBE.
Please don't be like DBE.
Please don't be like DBE.
rolanddeschain - 6/18/2010, 12:24 PM
this will not translate into live action, why are they even going there with akira? they could do way better with great anime that is less complicated. you could do wicked city, vampire hunter D, ninja scroll, golgo 13, robotech, crying freeman, all of those could be made live action, no problem.
Cumulactus - 6/18/2010, 12:27 PM
Interesting. It really took a while to get to the Akira part

As for Akira: I am automatically cynical. I don't know why. I just don't feel like Hollywood can handle it in all it's glory. Not really.

I like that he referred to it as "seminal". That shows that he understands what he's dealing with.
comicb00kguy - 6/18/2010, 12:50 PM
As someone who is admittedly not a big anime fan, I still have to say that Akira is a masterpiece. I was blown away by the greatness of the story.

WHY does this need to be remade? And live action?
loganoneil - 6/18/2010, 1:00 PM
I TOTALLY agree with Ranger, Teabag, comicb00kguy, and everyone else that's saying, 'WTF?!!!' The just need to put down the property and slowly back away before someone gets really @#$!-ing hurt...!

"New Manhattan"?! Leonardo DeCaprio as Kaneda??!! Joseph Gordon as Tesuo???!!! WTF are these guys thinking?! More importantly, what are they ON, and did they bring enough the share with the group?!! I want a hit of whatever it is, because it's GOT to be some really good @$#! to make them think that this POS will fly!
animeex - 6/18/2010, 1:08 PM
Instant failure! Another shot to anime. It took a long time of bombs before the comic book movies really got good... Now it's anime's turn.
Yelsaeb - 6/18/2010, 1:11 PM
Don't. Just please don't.
THEBAMF - 6/18/2010, 1:12 PM
Another Japanese animation movie that's going to be "Americanized"? I smell a kamehameha failure.
HULK2099 - 6/18/2010, 1:27 PM
theres something about this that reminds me of tron???
Sunfire - 6/18/2010, 1:44 PM
Oh man, this sounds EPIC.....FAILURE!!!
Katishiro Otomo should say NO to Hollywood and stop trying to cash in such a masterpiece. If he doesn't learn from that Dragon Ball movie (main lead was White), then he and the Hollywood producers are IDIOTS! End of story.
sweetre15 - 6/18/2010, 1:44 PM
Uh guys,

1. Dicaprio actually SAID that he has NO interest in playing in this movie but his only connection to this is that it's being made by his production company called Appian Way.

2. Levitt said that they never talked to him about playing in this movie.

3. In the first draft,it was going to be set in New Manhattan but be rebuilt by a diaspora of Japanese agents and the draft was also pretty true tothe events of volume 1-3.

Except for the fact that while Kaneda was still named Kaneda,Tetsuo was renamed Travis so likely it would be an Asian protagonist and a Caucasian Antagonist.

4. It's actually set to be about the volumes of Akira and be two movies to do the story of all 6 volumes justice.

So with all these things said can we atleast wait to see what they'll change with these rewrites and if it'll be changed for the better.
loganoneil - 6/18/2010, 1:46 PM
Sweetre - Do you mind if I don't hold my breath?
Sunfire - 6/18/2010, 1:47 PM
Why are they so against casting Asian-American actors???
loganoneil - 6/18/2010, 1:57 PM
Sunfire - Because, Hollywood still clings to their decades-old belief that AMERICAN (caucasian) audiences can't POSSIBLY relate to NON-caucasian stars. Why do you think there are so few Asian, African-American, Latino, etc. roles out there? The same could be said for females - unless you're an uber-hottie who's the 'flavor of the week' (regardless of actual talent - think Megan Fox), there aren't a lot of choice roles out there....
Talontd - 6/18/2010, 2:06 PM
Just stay away from NARUTO!
CorndogBurglar - 6/18/2010, 2:35 PM
i hope i'm wrong, but i just can't see this turning out good. if i'm wrong, then we could get an amaing movie. i just can't see it happening, something will get screwed up.
sweetre15 - 6/18/2010, 3:27 PM
@loganoneil:Your perogative I guess but I ask that people don't just make assumptions before we really know anything about the project.
wildstar13 - 6/18/2010, 4:38 PM
@rolanddeschain- Dude, they already made live-action Crying Freeman movie back in 1995 with Mark Decascos playing Freeman. Very faithful to the Portrait of a killer story.
StevilNYC - 6/18/2010, 4:42 PM
I knew this would happen! I'm going to bet my left nut that it will be a hit. The motorcycle gang fights will be epic!
MrDCGuy23 - 6/18/2010, 6:54 PM
teabag @ dude, you already know. Akira should just stay as an Anime. Thats it.
flames809 - 6/18/2010, 7:27 PM
Talontd- if they ever try to do a naruto movie i hope they use Asian people in it but then naruto dnt look Asian every1 else does but not naruto.
Magicfingers - 6/18/2010, 10:03 PM
I have to agree with MrDCGuy23. Some movies should not be remade.
Joe6Pack74 - 6/19/2010, 7:57 AM
I would rather have a Gunsmith Cats live action film. Leave Akira alone, its a masterpiece.
RorMachine - 6/19/2010, 8:41 AM
It is, but isn't that a good reason to get it out in the world in live action form? Why automatically just assume this adap will suck? Changing the setting and race of the characters is inevitable unless it was a Japanese production and it isn't. Doesn't mean the story and the themes need to be gutted. It will all depend of the director and how much he loves the source. Look at Watchmen..uproar when it was announced Snyder would direct and even after the trailers some zealots refused to accept that he did a good job. At least wait for some further news if not a damn trailer before instantly dismissing it!
Joe6Pack74 - 6/19/2010, 9:14 AM
Your right, it could be excellent in the hands of the right writer/director. I am thinking of Warner Brothers with their hit and miss track record. For Example Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, all good films. Then you have Batman and Robin, Batman Forever, Catwoman, all crap. It is a coin toss as to what you are going to get. Then look at Jonah Hex their most recent attempt, its bad. Even Watchmen was 50/50(IMHO). The visuals and special effects were awesome, the editing, music and flow of the movie I found awkward. It was'nt a failure but it was not what it could of been. I have more anime in my dvd collection than I would ever admit and would love to see alot of it done live action, but certain ones are going to be hard to translate to live action. If they can get 'er done, great!
zeonsdemon - 6/19/2010, 9:43 AM
if they kept to the original story instead of all this Neo Manhatten bullshit it could stand a chance
ZombieOverEasy - 6/19/2010, 10:04 AM


This is about as bad as they can do. I don't MIND the change to Neo Manhattan, as it shouldn't be too hard to still keep the same premise with a location change. This film would definitely have to be a hard R for it to do the source material any justice. We have about a 50/50 chance of it being good or complete crap...Seems there's no happy medium with WB.
gaikinger - 6/19/2010, 10:36 AM
another example of an impotent industry (Hollywood) with no original ideas.
AlexDeLarge87 - 6/19/2010, 11:09 AM
I dont know what to think about? It might be a total crap or it might turn out to be one f*cking grazy movie! The Future tells!
HULK2099 - 6/19/2010, 1:29 PM
doesnt there bikes resemble light cycles from Tron ???
MovieTheaterLad - 6/19/2010, 2:00 PM
@gaikinger

Oh put a sock in it.

That impotent industry full of unoriginal ideas is the sole reason why this website exists in the first place.

It's like going into a butcher shop and complaining that there's too much meat.
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