Two Akira live action films?
It looks like Hollywood is set to remake Akira, the six volume graphic novel from Katsuhiro Otomo which made it into a stunning animated film back in 1988.
However this remake will see two films made in live action, with each of the films covering the ground of three of the volumes from the graphic novels.
I remember buying and watching Akira (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com) on a double VHS box set, and I was amazed, it was superb, even if I didn't fully understand it all I was captivated. I actually think that was my first real exposure to anime.
With all the current technology being used in films, the promised advancements, the wealth of comic book adaptations and the number of live action high budget films being made in Hollywood from comic books, is it a surprise that Akira is the next to be targeted?
What I am surprised about is that they plan a live action dyad – which I think is the correct term for a series of two, correct me if I am wrong please!
In a strong move by the studio the film, according to Variety, will be executive produced by Katsuhiro Otomo and set in New Manhattan, a metropolis that was destroyed some thirty one years before the story takes place. Now that sends a message to fans straight away, the original creator is on board and they are going to try and remain faithful, or so it sounds.
Ruairi Robinson is set to direct, which we knew back in October, from a script by Gary Whitta. Robinson wrote, produced, directed and edited The Silent City , which just you can see at the bottom of the story and gives you a great idea of how good he could be for the Akira film, he's also received some great accolades for his commericals work. Meanwhile Whitta carries little information on IMDB and is a bit of an unknown quantity.
The original film told of two friends in one of the bike gangs of New Tokyo, the leader Kaneda, and his close friend Tetsuo. Tetsuo is pulled into a secret government experiment called Akira and Kaneda tries to save him. However on the way various powerful factions of the city begin fighting both physically and politically while a prior unknown supernatural power begins to rise in Tetsuo threatening to consume him and the entire city.
It's a superb film to watch and one I really do remember loving, but a live action remake is going to cost an absolute fortune surely. Well it does seem like it's on, and with the original creator involved it could be superb.
Here's the short film The Slient City from Ruairi Robinson. Now imagine Akira in this style, or something similar.