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Jaume Collet-Serra Returns to Direct Live-Action “Akira”

It feels like Hollywood has been trying to make a big-budget, live-action adaption of the seminal anime film Akira since it first came out in 1988 and, finally, it seems like we may be moving closer to a post-apocalyptic world in which this happens.

Variety reports that filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (House of Wax) has taken the director’s seat once again (he was attached to helm the film until the production “stalled” in 2012), and is in talks to return to the film, which hopes to begin shooting in 2014.

Little is known about the production other than the fact that Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way is producing, and that the setting has been shifted from “Neo-Tokyo” to “Neo-Manhattan” (which I’m sure the internet is just delighted about).

Any adaption of a beloved work is bound to get it’s share of detractors, but Akira is one of the truly “untouchable” classics of anime, so we’ll see if this American remake can live up to its predecessor or just piss a whole lot of people off.

Excited for a live-action Akira? Who would you like to see in the main roles? 

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11 comments

  • As much as I love the anime, I’m totally OK with this conceptually. I’d love to see it live action, and I have no issues with it being NY vs. Tokyo, dense urban settings can be fairly interchangeable when we’re talking about a fictional future, there’s no reason TO make the change, but honestly, who’s to say future Manhattan won’t resemble Tokyo.

    But I really do think the right people need to be involved, and I’m not sure Collet-Serra has proven himself in the genre yet, and while I’m all for giving people chances, with a proven and delicate property like this, it might have a better chance in the hands of Del Toro, Cuarón, Blomkamp, Boyle, or if you want someone newer Gareth Edwards.

  • No Fucking Way!!
    No Thank You Hollywood!!
    No Bueno to Remakes!!

    If you’re going to adapt a manga (or anime) into live action? Consider a real budget, then stick to the fucking story (can’t film in Japan? Then Green Screen it, bitches!)

    How many box offices tanks is it going to take before Hollywood fucking learns its lesson?

  • P.S. Oh, and Matt, I don’t mean to make such terse comments about the subjects you’ve been posting in your articles lately. I really dig that you’re announcing and covering this stuff. I’m a big fan of these things and certain topics, unfortunately, are hot buttons.

  • We’ve already made Akira, it was called Chronicle. Follow it with a really good sequel and let the idea of Hollywood trying to make it die on the vine.

    I’d leave it to the Japanese do this, they’ve had better success at adapting anime to live action. For better or worse I’ll cite Casshern & the 2010 Space Battleship Yamato movies as examples. And the actors know how to embody the characters we’re familiar with.

    Back the studio and secure the distribution rights (like what didn’t happen w/SBY), but let the right culture make it.

  • I don’t know why I feel like it’s important to point this out, but Akira is not at all based around the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. That said, this movie will be gutter trash.

  • This is a horrible idea. There is no way a big budget, live action adaptation of Akira is going to be profitable, much less *good*.

    The sad thing is, even if they do it the right way, shoot it in Japan, get good Japanese actors, get brilliant cinematographers and the best VFX money can buy, get a brilliant adaptation of the original screenplay for the anime, and have the most intense and beautiful marketing campaign for any movie ever – it would STILL bomb. It would do awfully. This story is a downer. It’s apocalyptic. It’s hopeless.

    The anime is perfect. It is the best expression of that story. There is no need, or desire from the audience, to make a big budget live action Akira film. Ever.

  • Hollywood has been trying to make this film since the 90’s. Please stop hollywood. You failed with “Dragonball” now this? And why does the American location always have to be New York or L.A.? Why does it have to take place in the U.S. at all? Why not take place in Tokyo or Asia? Why do I get the feeling this will be so white washed that it will resemble the manga and anime in name only?