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Film Discussion => The Grapevine => Topic started by: squints on February 22, 2008, 07:13:39 PM

Title: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: squints on February 22, 2008, 07:13:39 PM
Holy fucking shit...



It's Official - Live-Action Akira Confirmed Already for 2009!


February 20, 2008
Source: Variety
by Alex Billington

Back in October last year, we reported a rumor that the Japanese anime classic Akira would eventually be getting a live-action remake. We finally have official confirmation today that says there will not only be a new adaptation, but that it is being split into two movies! Warner Brothers has re-acquired the rights and is putting the first film into production right away, aiming to release the first movie by the summer of 2009. However, the film is primarily going to be adapted from anime artist Katsuhiro Otomo's graphic novel more than the original 1988 anime movie.

Warner Brothers exec Greg Silverman, who previously brought the studio 300 and Batman Begins, brought them Akira and encouraged them to obtain the rights. Although the studio let go of the rights a few years ago, they fought to gain them back in a bidding war, ending up paying in the seven-figures. The studio is describing the film as "Blade Runner meets City of God", which is a fairly fitting description for the story. Each movie will be based on three of the six volumes from Katsuhiro Otomo's graphic novel that was first published in 1982.

The two films will be directed by Irish filmmaker Ruairi Robinson who is making his feature debut after directing a number of short films and commercials. You can watch his 2006 short titled The Silent City on his website here. The script for the two films is being written by first-time screenwriter Gary Whitta.

Akira is a six-volume manga that was later adapted into an anime movie in 1988. The manga takes place in a vastly larger timeframe than the film and involves a far wider array of characters and subplots. Through the breadth of the work, Otomo explicates themes of social isolation, corruption and power. The original anime and and manga was set in Tokyo, but reports are saying this version will take place in "New Manhattan", a metropolis that was rebuilt after being destroyed 31 years ago. This isn't fully confirmed and we're doing our best to see if this is actually the case.

Kaneda is a bike gang leader whose close friend Tetsuo gets involved in a government secret project known as Akira. On his way to save Tetsuo, Kaneda runs into a group of anti-government activists, greedy politicians, irresponsible scientists and a powerful military leader. The confrontation sparks off Tetsuo's supernatural power leading to bloody death, a coup attempt and the final battle in Tokyo Olympiad where Akira's secrets were buried 30 years ago.

I said it before when talking about the rumor, but this is going to make for one awesome live-action movie. Not only am I a big fan of the anime movie, but there are so many great action scenes, like the futuristic motorcycle chases, that could be amazing in the movie. I'm only concerned that they won't give this duo of films the proper budget that they really need, especially with a first-time feature filmmaker working on them. Whatever the case is, I'll hope for the best!

http://www.firstshowing.net/2008/02/20/its-official-live-action-akira-confirmed-already-for-2009/ (http://www.firstshowing.net/2008/02/20/its-official-live-action-akira-confirmed-already-for-2009/)
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: MacGuffin on June 15, 2009, 07:25:03 PM
'Akira' Project is Dead as a Doornail
Source: 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.
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: picolas on June 15, 2009, 09:46:17 PM
TETSUO!!!!!
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: MacGuffin on September 08, 2009, 10:33:49 AM
New Screenwriters for Akira Movie
Source: ComingSoon

We haven't heard much about the live-action Akira movie since February of 2008 (actually, back then it was reported that two films were being made), but now Collider says that Warner Bros. Pictures is still developing the movie and has hired screenwriters Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby to pen the script. The duo co-wrote the first Iron Man movie and Children of Men.

Akira is based on anime artist Katsuhiro Otomo's six-volume graphic novel masterwork. The film is said to take place in "New Manhattan," a metropolis that was rebuilt after being destroyed 31 years ago. The famous motorcycle will also definitely be a part of the film.

The movie could possibly go into production in 2010.
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: picolas on September 08, 2009, 01:49:16 PM
...KANEDA!!!!
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: socketlevel on September 08, 2009, 03:47:25 PM
new manhattan, fucking lame... you americans, shesh get over yourselves.

like why still name the movie akira, if it's not set in japan.  you might as well name it "Andy".  and the end of the movie will be two over weight guys yelling "Teddy!" and "Kenneth!" at each other. That's just as cool, isn't it?

p.s. 600 posts, one love
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: polkablues on September 08, 2009, 06:49:00 PM
New Screenwriters for Akira Movie
Source: ComingSoon
Collider says that Warner Bros. Pictures is still developing the movie and has hired screenwriters Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby to pen the script. The duo co-wrote the first Iron Man movie and Children of Men.

Just to clarify, Alfonso Cuaron wrote Children of Men.  These two wrote an unused first draft and got credited for it because the WGA's rules regarding adaptations are and always have been retarded.  So basically, my hopes are not up about how Akira will turn out.
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: MacGuffin on February 10, 2010, 01:17:02 PM
Vulture Exclusive: The Hughes Brothers to Direct the Akira Remake
Source: NYMag

Vulture has learned that Warner Bros. is negotiating to reteam with The Book of Eli's Hughes brothers to have them direct a live-action remake of the cult favorite Akira, from a script by Iron Man scribes Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby. (Akira is being produced by Leonardo DiCaprio's company, Appian Way, along with Andrew Lazar, who’s also currently producing an adaptation of DC Comics’ Jonah Hex for Warners.)

Even if you had read all of Katsuhiro Otomo’s epic 1982 manga and/or seen his own 1988 anime adaptation, summarizing the plot to Akira would still prove a bit of a challenge. As near as we can figure, Akira is about the leader of a biker gang who tries to save his kidnapped pal from a powerful supernatural experiment. (It might also be a psycho-philosophical exploration of corruption, the will to power, and the maturation of man and mankind, but we were actually pretty high when we first saw it in college, so please don’t hold us to that.)

Respecting the source's complexity (or perhaps acquiescing to it), Warners won’t proceed with a single, live-action remake of the film, which trimmed away the last half of the 2,182-page graphic novel in order to weigh in at just over two hours. Instead, we hear that the studio is planning to make Akira in two parts, with the first three volumes of the six-volume manga making up the first film, due out next year.

An official release from the studio is expected later this week.
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: squints on February 10, 2010, 01:34:45 PM
Holy fucking shit...

This is going to suck.
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: socketlevel on February 10, 2010, 02:28:27 PM
pretty much anyone directing it would make me worried. they should just leave it alone.
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: Stefen on February 10, 2010, 02:33:27 PM
The Hughes Bros aren't that bad. Menace II Society is great and Dead Presidents is big time underrated. Everything else they've done hasn't been good, but I feel they still have some integrity.

Basically, they're auteurs pretending to be hacks instead of hacks pretending to be auteurs.
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: MacGuffin on November 06, 2010, 12:28:37 AM
Rumor of the Day: And the lead in Akira goes to ... Zac Efron?
Source: SyFy
 
Word on the street is that High School Musical veteran Zac Efron is going to star in Warner Brothers' live-action adaptation of the classic manga series and anime groundbreaker.

Co-directors Allen and Albert Hughes (From Hell) are behind this Americanized version—which is said to take place in a post-apocalyptic New Manhattan, rather than the Neo Tokyo of Katsuhiro Otomo's Japanese original—and they're rumored to have offered Efron the starring role, a teenage bike punk whose best friend gets kidnapped by the government and turned into an all-powerful mutant.

Now, before you get all upset at the idea of Efron sullying a beloved geek institution with his very presence, let's not forget that before he got all famous, Efron played young Simon Tam on Firefly.
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: B.C. Long on November 06, 2010, 03:36:06 AM
Christoper Nolan should direct this.
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: socketlevel on November 08, 2010, 01:22:29 PM
Rumor of the Day: And the lead in Akira goes to ... Zac Efron?
Source: SyFy
 
Word on the street is that High School Musical veteran Zac Efron is going to star in Warner Brothers' live-action adaptation of the classic manga series and anime groundbreaker.

Co-directors Allen and Albert Hughes (From Hell) are behind this Americanized version—which is said to take place in a post-apocalyptic New Manhattan, rather than the Neo Tokyo of Katsuhiro Otomo's Japanese original—and they're rumored to have offered Efron the starring role, a teenage bike punk whose best friend gets kidnapped by the government and turned into an all-powerful mutant.

Now, before you get all upset at the idea of Efron sullying a beloved geek institution with his very presence, let's not forget that before he got all famous, Efron played young Simon Tam on Firefly.

... fuck life
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: Gold Trumpet on November 09, 2010, 12:06:37 AM
If the film sucks, it won't be because of Zac Efron. He will be he excuse, but ehh? I still like him as an undeveloped talent stuck in a pre-Big Tom Hanks career. He will be really good at some point, but he needs to make better film choices to give himself a chance.
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: MacGuffin on May 06, 2011, 04:19:28 PM
Keanu Reeves Circling Warner Bros.' Akira (Exclusive)
Albert Hughes is set to direct the English-language, live-action take on the landmark anime and manga property.
Source: THR

Akira, the English-language, live-action take on the landmark anime and manga property, is zeroing in on its star, and it just might be Keanu Reeves. Warner Bros. has been having a tough time finding the two leads of the movie, to be directed by Albert Hughes. In the script, the action moves from Neon-Tokyo to New Manhattan, where a biker gang leader tries to save his best friend from a medical experiment that threatens to unleash destructive powers. Actors ranging from James Franco and Joseph Gordon-Levitt to Robert Pattinson and Michael Fassbender have circled the project in some form or fashion as the studio sought to find an A-list lead. Now comes word that Reeves has held talks with the studio, with whom he already made the massively successful Matrix movies, for the part of Kaneda, the gang leader. Reeves doesn't yet have an offer for the role, but we hear the talks with his reps have been going well. Reeves anchoring the project could serve as a strong lure for another A-lister to take the role of Tetsuo, the best friend. Andrew Lazar is producing with Appian Way's Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran. Reeves, repped by CAA and 3 Arts Entertainment, is currently shooting the samauri action pic 47 Ronin for Universal.
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: Reelist on May 06, 2011, 05:01:01 PM
oh noooooooo! he's nowhere near the right age to play this. Stick with Bill & Ted, Keanu.
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: polkablues on May 06, 2011, 06:08:46 PM
Tetsu-whoa.
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: Mr. Merrill Lehrl on May 06, 2011, 07:26:34 PM
Agree that he's not a good choice, but way more skeptical about Albert Hughes as director to become disappointed about this.
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: Stefen on May 06, 2011, 08:05:40 PM
Menace II Society and Dead Presidents are really, really good movies. Every after has been pretty bad. What happened to them?  :yabbse-undecided:
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: Pas on May 06, 2011, 09:28:37 PM
Will Smith and Keanu same day!
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: Mr. Merrill Lehrl on May 06, 2011, 09:37:19 PM
Menace II Society and Dead Presidents are really, really good movies. Every after has been pretty bad. What happened to them?  :yabbse-undecided:

They're better with material they help originate and characters whose lives they have working knowledge of?  I also like American Pimp.  But there seems to be some faulty connection, some obstructed pathway, between them and their imaginations, and that's what worries me.  

Because Akira is a batshit nuts anime, part of its charm is how outrageous it is, and I'd love to see it in the hands of a director whom I could trust to unleash unbounded energy and creativity, qualities I don't really associate with the Hughes brothers.

And it's not even Keanu's acting chops that bother me.  He's just too old, period.
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: Pubrick on May 07, 2011, 10:54:40 AM
I'd love to see it in the hands of a director whom I could trust to unleash unbounded energy and creativity

too bad the wachowskis already did speed racer..

Tetsu-whoa.

that's brilliant.
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: Ravi on May 09, 2011, 01:26:55 AM
Because Akira is a batshit nuts anime, part of its charm is how outrageous it is, and I'd love to see it in the hands of a director whom I could trust to unleash unbounded energy and creativity, qualities I don't really associate with the Hughes brothers.

Since there would be a huge amount of money behind this, I imagine that the batshitness of the film will be toned down lest it alienate mainstream audiences.
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: MacGuffin on May 26, 2011, 04:34:46 PM
Albert Hughes Exiting 'Akira' At Warner Bros
BY MIKE FLEMING, Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: The twists and turns on the Warner Bros adaptation of anime artist Katsuhiro Otomo’s graphic novel Akira continue. Director Albert Hughes is exiting the movie, I’m told. Insiders say that it is an amicable creative differences parting of the ways. Warner Bros will try to put him on another movie right away (Hughes and his brother Allen directed the hit The Book of Eli, and WB topper Jeff Robinov is their former agent and is very close with them). Hughes is coming to Hollywood next week to take meetings with his WME reps and look at scripts, hoping to find his next movie at Warner Bros. As for Akira, the intention of the studio is to keep the picture on a fast track, which means they will find a director quickly. The studio has been wrestling with the approach on the film for the past year. Last March, Warner Bros put together a short list of up-and-coming actors after getting a strong rewrite by Steve Kloves that set the film in a rebuilt New Manhattan, where a leader of a biker gang saves his friend from a medical experiment. At the time, Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield and James McAvoy were given the script for the role of Tetsuo, and Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake and Joaquin Phoenix were courted for Kaneda. The two leads were expected to come from that group of actors. Then, the studio had a change of heart and, given the budget, wanted to have an established box office star in the movie. That led to a flirtation with Keanu Reeves that ended recently. Warner Bros is back to the other plan, and will likely go back to that list of actors in hopes of making the picture later this year or early next. Andrew Lazar is producing with Appian Way’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran. Akira has been one of Warner Bros' high-priority projects since the studio with Legendary Pictures acquired it for a seven-figure sum two years ago from manga publisher Kodansha. The intention has been to make two films, each covering three books in the series. Akira was first adapted for the screen in 1988.
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: Reelist on May 26, 2011, 05:02:18 PM
this is good news.

given the budget, the studio wanted to have an established box office star in the movie. That led to a flirtation with Keanu Reeves that ended recently.

especially this
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: Ravi on July 14, 2011, 05:53:00 PM
http://collider.com/akira-director-jaume-collet-serra/102494/

UNKNOWN Director Jaume Collet-Serra in Talks to Direct AKIRA
by Matt Goldberg    Posted:July 14th, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Despite being a bad movie, Jaume Collet-Serra’s Unknown raked in $130 million worldwide off a $30 million budget.  Collet-Serra’s been linked to a reimagining of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a remake of Le Cercle Rouge, and possibly the 300 prequel Battle of Artemisia.  Now Variety reports that he’s in talks to direct Warner Bros’ adaptation of the anime/manga Akira.  You may recall that director Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli) left the project in late May and that Harry Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves handled the latest draft of the script.  Warner Bros. is now envisioning the film as a $90 million tentpole.  However, we previously reported that WB was planning on splitting the six-volume manga into two films so I’m not sure if the $90 million is supposed to cover both movies or just the first one.

However, even if Collet-Serra does come on board, Warner Bros. still faces the issue of casting the two lead roles of Tetsuo and Kaneda.  The futuristic story has been reset from Neo-Tokyo to Neo-Manhattan and the broad overview of the story is that Tetsuo is the leader of a biker gang who has to stop his mutated friend Kaneda from destroying the city.
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: socketlevel on July 21, 2011, 12:52:59 PM
I wish Otomo or someone in japan got together some mad cash to make this. I don't wanna see white people in Akira. Hollywood rapes again.

Seriously if they want to americanize this, and set it in NYC or wherever they should just rename the movie "Andy". Has the same punch to it, no?
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: MacGuffin on November 16, 2011, 02:19:04 AM
Kristen Stewart Has an Offer to Star in 'Akira,' Will She Accept?
The 'Twilight' actress would take on the role of Ky Reed in Warner Bros.' adaptation of the Japanese anime classic.
Source: THR

Will Kristen Stewart accept the offer to star in Akira?

Stewart’s camp is mulling an offer from Warner Bros. for the in-demand actress to join the cast of the adaptation of classic manga and anime in the role of Ky Reed.

The movie is set in a place called New Manhattan and follows two brothers, one the leader of a motorcyle gang, the other his younger brother, a young man with telekinetic abilities who becomes a dangerous weapon.

Tron: Legacy star Garrett Hedlund is in negotiations to play Kaneda, the gang leader, who teams up with Ky, a woman who is part of an underground movement to expose the government for turning orphans into living weapons. She may also possess some abilities herself.

Despite some reports saying Stewart is in advanced negotiations, sources say only an offer has been made at this stage, though the two sides will certainly engage one another and give dealmaking a go.

If a deal does materialize, this would be the third franchise for the actress, who has always garnered strong notices but became something of an accidental superstar when Twilight turned into a phenomenon (Breaking Dawn: Part 1 opens on Friday.) She is following that with another potential franchise in Snow White and the Huntsman which, in the race with Relativity’s Snow White project Mirror, Mirror, is looking like Lord of the Rings compared to Dungeons & Dragons. If Huntsman fulfills its promise, expect Stewart to appear in sequels.

Akira also is designed as a franchise, although it’s unclear whether it’s going to be two or three films.

Balancing the two tentpole series would certainly be something for her reps to figure out—if she decides she wants to do the movie.
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: 72teeth on November 16, 2011, 06:26:15 PM
UUUUUUhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhg......
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: socketlevel on November 17, 2011, 02:11:31 AM
my bad dream is turning into a nightmare.
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: Ravi on January 05, 2012, 02:36:06 PM
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/akira-production-shut-down-budget-warner-bros-278729

'Akira' Production Offices Shut Down As Warner Bros. Scrutinizes Budget (Exclusive)
The production offices in Vancouver are being closed, with below-the-line talent and crew told to stop working. “Everybody is being sent home,” according to an insider.
11:17 AM PST 1/5/2012 by Borys Kit

Warner Bros is pushing the pause button on Akira.

The project, which has been through several incarnations, is being shut down in the face of casting and budgetary issues. The production offices in Vancouver are being closed, with below-the-line talent and crew told to stop working. “Everybody is being sent home,” according to an insider.

Producers, who include Appian Way’s Jennifer Kiloran Davisson and Mad Chance’s Andrew Lazar, will hunker down with director Jaume Collet-Serra for the next two weeks to iron out the script. It is unclear if Harry Potter scribe Steve Kloves, who did a pricey rewrite on the project a year ago, will be brought in to help out.

If the issues cannot be resolved, the project could end up being shelved entirely, say insiders.

Collet-Serra already had halved the budget from the incarnation that Albert Hughes was going to direct. He now is working on a budget in the $90 million range. But with only Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy) signed on to star, and Kristen Stewart, Ken Watanabe and Helena Bonham Carter in various stages of dealmaking, the studio feels that the price tag is still too high for a sci-fi project with that level of star wattage. The goal, say insiders, is to bring the budget down to between $60 million and $70 million.

An adaptation of the classic Japanese manga, Akira is an Americanized story set in a postapocalyptic New Manhattan, where a motorcycle gang leader (Hedlund) must stop his brother and fellow gang member from abusing his newly acquired telekinetic powers.

Akira already has “died” three times only to rise phoenix-like from the ashes. Ruairi Robinson and Hughes were previously deep into the project as directors before dropping off. Collet-Serra got the project green-lighted and has come the closest to going before cameras.

This isn't the only Warner Bros. project whose budget is being scrutinized. Arthur and Lancelot, the period fantasy being directed by David Dobkin, also has come under increased budget pressure.

Sources close to the project say Akira isn't dead yet.  “It’s a very resilient movie,” says one insider. “Warner Bros. just won’t let it die.”

Warner Bros. declined comment.
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: MacGuffin on January 09, 2012, 08:59:26 AM
WB Eyeing Eyeing 'The Dark Knight Rises' Scribe Jonah Nolan & 'Green Lantern' Writer Michael Green To Rewrite 'Akira'
Source: Playlist

It was mere days ago when Warner Bros. shut down the production offices on "Akira," citing a need to retool the entire project. The order was for a "high-end" re-write, and the WB is looking no further than their superhero stable. While no one has yet received the offer to re-do the work of Steve Kloves and David James Kelly, Variety suggests the two most likely candidates are Jonah Nolan and Michael Green.

Nolan is no doubt the golden child of the WB's tentpole factory, having co-written "The Dark Knight" and "The Dark Knight Rises" with brother Chris. While the studio would ideally have the Nolans make all of their movies, Jonah has mostly stuck to his brother's side after breaking through with the short story inspiration for "Memento." Green, meanwhile, was a TV writer on "Smallville" (yikes), "Heroes" (ditto) and "Kings" (well, alright) before sharing the credit on "Green Lantern" (wait, ye gods!), and, allegedly, a sequel as well. It's not all bad news from Green - he's also got Steven Spielberg eyeing the script for "Gods And Kings" he penned with Stuart Hazeldine.

However, the most astounding thing about "Akira" so far, which has been in development for nearly a decade, is just how many writers have tackled this thing so far. Stephen Norrington ("Blade"), Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby ("Iron Man"), Albert Torres ("Henry Poole Is Here"), Gary Whitta ("The Book Of Eli") and few more we're forgetting (totaling about a dozen) have all taken a stab at the would-be franchise at various points, in a big screen version that has wavered between a two-movie epic or a single movie throwdown.

Variety doesn't specify if the new scribes would be hired in an individual or team capacity, but a project like "Akira" is going to need all the help they can get. The problem areas for the project, which only has Garrett Hedlund signed to star thus far, are "character elements" and the film's "look," the latter of which can possibly be translated to "budget." But the WB seems intent on reminding "Akira" that it's still totally into him, insisting that the delays will not prevent the film from happening. It may not make much sense, film fans, but you're getting an American "Akira," whether you like it or not.
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: socketlevel on January 10, 2012, 04:02:57 PM
let it die already, nolan is good but let a japanese writer and film maker make it. please keep the original culture.

beyond subject matter, Asian cinema is shot very different than american. If you go back and look at Akira you'll notice that a lot is played out in wide shots, and a lot of humor comes from this technique. It might have something to do with the over population and the comment on mob mentality. just look to "memories of murder", the south korean masterpiece for a live action version of these devices. the framing/blocking and over the top theatrics is everything. I know if this is made in america, and even if it's done well, it will lose the foundation of the original form. It will look like "Watchmen" with ramping cameras and close up coverage.

also, the approach to post humanism and zen influences is so clearly what makes this eastern manga/film shine...

let it die, oh please let it die.
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: pete on January 10, 2012, 04:34:40 PM
holy shit. your theories are fucking gold. I'm trying to suppress all sarcastic responses to answer you seriously.
can filmmakers in Asia not have zen influences? if wide shots are results of overpopulation, then why are films made in LA not shot that way? can it have anything to do with how an animation is produced/ an 80s film is produced/ vs what is trending nowadays? how much in common does Akira have really have with memories of murder, do you think? And there might've been an American version of that movie already, have you seen Zodiac?
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: socketlevel on January 11, 2012, 12:20:16 AM
there is without a doubt a sensibility that is shared. compare the interrogation scene in Akira (when the grenade goes off) to the CSI scene in the field from memories of murder. in both, the mob becomes a single mass (or character) that ebbs and flows together. it's funny as shit. you can see this in a few scenes from "the host" as well. usually the mob is depicted as innocent, curious and stupid until the moment of crisis then they go bat shit crazy. the comedy partially comes from the fact they're both played out in wide shots, detaching the audience from the characters and making the physical actions overly dramatic. when Kanada walks out of the stadium we see the grenade blow a hole out of the building, and he curiously looks back. We sense that Kanada doesn't really give a shit, he's just kind of curious. Probably because he's young and detached himself. we also don't see the fact dozens of people just probably died. if Kanada was wide eyed with horror, and we saw bodies brutalized then it would be a different story. it would cease to be funny.

Pete i don't know what to tell you man, if you can't see the detachment and poking fun at mob mentality in those three films then we're splitting hairs. part of that is indeed cultural, only in the western world do we put as much emphasis on the individual. I'm explaining how i think the techniques vary to convey this style of film making.

I have seen zodiac, and i loved it. if you're comparing the plot of memories of murder to zodiac then I agree they're very similar. but that's not what I'm talking about, am i? the style and humor are vastly different. zodiac gets into the heads of the characters, we feel everything they're going through, because that's how American movies are made these days. if zodiac was made in the 70s than that might be a different case. in memories of murder we are more third party spectators watching the story reveal itself. the humor in zodiac comes from the wit and intensity of the characters, whereas the humor in memories of murder comes from the physical comedy and detachment. when the cop kicks the handicap kid in the police station do we cut to the kid's pain? No, we stay on the James dean looking mother fucker and laugh at how much of an idiot he is.

so at this point you have to ask how they achieve the difference. well my argument is that one is great (sometimes witty) dialog shot in close ups, the other makes the characters look brutish and stupid, shot in wides. the only leap I'm making is the cultural significance, because if you're not with me up to this point, then you're not analyzing film grammar. and I'll note, i said "It might have something to do with the over population...", might being the key word. i believe it's part overpopulation and other cultural issues that informs this sense of humor but I'm not 100%; it's my hunch.

now the problem is when Akira is going to be remade, and set in new york or L.A. or wherever they're going to at best make it like zodiac; doing away with these detached humor elements and general nonchalant characters. you see i love zodiac because it's not a remake of memories of murder, it is it's own unique story. Akira is Akira. American Akira will suck because it will have to be made the way movies are made now (too much money on the line to not be) and everything that makes the tone of Akira work and be the beautiful masterpiece it is will be nonexistent because it will be shot incorrectly. the story isn't enough, the depiction also matters to me.

if you've read the manga or seen the film it's very zen Pete, that philosophy/spirituality is throughout. Oh I don't know, probably because it was made in Japan. My prediction is that all that good stuff will be gone, it will be a movie about an individual (Kanada) fighting an antagonist (tetsuo) and that's about it. the stuff with cults, what Akira represents as an evolutional/post human icon, the nods to ideas of singularity, and all the other wonderful elements of the story will be gone. I'm not sure, but I'd put some money on it. Other film makers around the world could do this, but they won't.

back to my original point, a south Korean film maker should make it. their sensibilities are in line with otomo's original vision.
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: 72teeth on January 12, 2012, 03:58:37 PM
can we run "hollywood" already?
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: MacGuffin on May 28, 2013, 05:08:56 PM
Screenwriter Gary Whitta Says His AKIRA Script Took Place in a Japanese-owned Manhattan
Source: Collider

A live-action feature film adaptation of the popular manga Akira has been a long time coming, but thus far has yet to come to fruition.  After a prolonged development process, the film was finally beginning to move into pre-production at Warner Bros. in 2011 with Garrett Hedlund cast as Kaneda and the studio in various stages of negotiations with Kristen Stewart, Gary Oldman, and Helena Bonham Carter for roles.  However, the studio subsequently halted production on the Jaume Collet-Serra-directed film in early 2012, citing their desire for more script work to be done.  The project appears to have now sunk back into development hell, as we haven’t heard a solid update regarding WB’s Akira in over a year.

Steve recently sat down with screenwriter Gary Whitta in anticipation of the release of the upcoming sci-fi film After Earth, and during the course of their conversation Whitta talked at length about his work on Akira.  As one of the first screenwriters on the film, Whitta revealed his intriguing location change for the film that attempted to solve the issue of “Americanizing” the story, the difficulty of getting the movie made, and more.

Speaking with Steve, Whitta talked about his involvement with the Akira film and why it was so difficult to get it off the ground:

“I worked on it for about six months. And I pretty much lived on the lot with the director at the time, Ruairi Robinson, trying to work out that movie. It’s a tough movie; it’s hard to figure out how to do it below an R-rating. It’s a difficult movie, which dealswith very mature subject matter; it’s hardcore.”

In addition to the rating issue, Whitta said that another difficulty in adapting the manga was how to deal with the Americanization of the story:

“We always dealt with the problem of, [and] I think what a lot of the fans felt was problematic, was the westernization of it; [it’s like] “they’re never going to make the $100 million movie with an all-Japanese cast. You need to westernize it.” And that almost became kind of a joke—like, the idea of Shia LaBeouf as Tetsuo or whatever. People are going to have a hard time with that, and certainly the fans.”

In order to solve the problem of “westernizing” the film without completely throwing out the Japanese setting, Whitta came up with a rather fascinating solution that involved altering the story’s location quite drastically:

“We came up with an idea that I actually thought was really cool; I don’t know if it survived into future versions. It’s not New Manhattan—because that was the [initial] idea, right? They moved it in to New Manhattan. I said, ‘it’s not New Manhattan, it’s still New Tokyo but—this is going to sound weird—it’s actually in Manhattan.’ What we did was, the idea is that there’d been a massive economic crash in the United States and in our desperation, we sold Manhattan Island to the Japanese, who were becoming a very powerful economic force, and they were having an overpopulation problem, because Japan is a series of islands, it can only accommodate so many people. So they just bought Manhattan Island, and it became the fifth island of Japan, and they populated it. It became New Tokyo, and it was just off the coast of the United States. So it was Japanese territory, it wasn’t New Tokyo, but there were Americans who kind of lived in little Americanized quarters of it. I felt it was a way to do a kind of cool Western-Eastern fusion of the two ideas; not fully Japanese, not fully westernized. Whether or not you’ll ever see that version, I don’t know, but I thought that was kind of a cool solution to that problem of westernization of a Japanese concept.”

A number of screenwriters worked on Akira after Whitta, so as he said there’s no telling whether his “New Tokyo” idea survived in subsequent drafts, but it’s definitely a different kind of direction for the story.  Read the full transcript of what Whitta had to say about Akira below, and look for Steve’s complete interview with Whitta on Collider soon.

Collider: What was your experience like working on Akira?

GARY WHITTA: I worked on it for about six months. And I pretty much lived on the lot with the director at the time, Ruairi Robinson, trying to work out that movie. It’s a tough movie; it’s hard to figure out how to do it below an R-rating. It’s a difficult movie, which deals with very mature subject matter; it’s hardcore. I hope they figure out how to make it. My experience on it… I’ll just say I learned a lot about the realities of studio filmmaking. My friend Albert Hughes was on it after me; and they’ve had numerous writers come and go. Some movies are just trickier to crack than others, and I hope they crack it, because I would love to see them get it right. But I understand why it’s difficult.

Well, it’s one of those things where, if it could be made for $50 million, then of course they could do an R. But it’s at least $100 million to make, and maybe even $150 million.

WHITTA: I’ll give you a little something that’s actually never been spoken about before. How interesting it is, I’ll let you decide. But we always dealt with the problem of, [and] I think what a lot of the fans felt was problematic, was the westernization of it; [it’s like] “they’re never going to make the $100 million movie with an all-Japanese cast. You need to westernize it.” And that almost became kind of a joke—like, the idea of Shia LaBeouf as Tetsuo or whatever. People are going to have a hard time with that, and certainly the fans.

So we came up with an idea that I actually thought was really cool; I don’t know if it survived into future versions. It’s not New Manhattan—because that was the [initial] idea, right? They moved it in to New Manhattan. I said, it’s not New Manhattan, it’s still New Tokyo but—this is going to sound weird—it’s actually in Manhattan. What we did was, the idea is that there’d been a massive economic crash in the United States and in our desperation, we sold Manhattan Island to the Japanese, who were becoming a very powerful economic force, and they were having an overpopulation problem, because Japan is a series of islands, it can only accommodate so many people. So they just bought Manhattan Island, and it became the fifth island of Japan, and they populated it. It became New Tokyo, and it was just off the coast of the United States. So it was Japanese territory, it wasn’t New Tokyo, but there were Americans who kind of lived in little Americanized quarters of it. I felt it was a way to do a kind of cool Western-Eastern fusion of the two ideas; not fully Japanese, not fully westernized. Whether or not you’ll ever see that version, I don’t know, but I thought that was kind of a cool solution to that problem of westernization of a Japanese concept.

Either way, expensive as hell to bring to the screen…

WHITTA: How do you do it? I think rather than try to figure out how you do an R movie for a number, it was more about “Let’s get it to a PG-13 and then we can spend the money we need to make.” But that has its own problems. Again, I would love to see them make it; I have all the good will in the world for that movie. I understand why it’s been difficult for the studio to make a movie that they feel can be true to the subject matter but also economically make sense for them.

It’s so tricky because you and I understand what’s going on. But the average person who doesn’t really understand how movies are made is like “This is a no-brainer.” But the fact is, the rating equals how much money you can spend. It’s just statistics…

WHITTA: And sometimes it’s just not the right time. I always feel like, when you’ve got a piece of material, it will always find a way to get made. Movies are dead for a long time, and then they come back and they find the right time for them. One of the difficulties when I was working on Akira is that Watchmen was coming out around that time. It came out, and it wasn’t a huge hit. It was successful, but I don’t think it was what the studio hoped it would be. And it’s a similar thing, right? Difficult, mature graphic novel that’s not Superman; it’s something only the fans really know about. New York gets destroyed, it’s very uncompromising. And I think they looked at that and said, “Well, why would we want to do exactly that again?” I think that was part of what complicated it.

So, like I said, I had a great time working on it. I got to sit in rooms where we got to design the bike, and you have those days where you’re like, “You know what? This is why this is still the coolest job in the world.” Even with all the aggravation and all the frustrations that you have, you get to sit around and say, “What does Kaneda’s bike look like in this version of the movie?” And we had the concepts, we built some of the models and it’s like, this still a badass job to do.
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: Lottery on May 28, 2013, 07:15:46 PM
Let's hope this stays dead for a very long time.
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: socketlevel on May 29, 2013, 02:06:45 PM
ya what made it cool was the fact it was neo-tokyo. the history behind that city, and the amount of times it has been rebuilt is a cultural factor and foundation to the entire story. keeping the bells and whistles of aesthetics while gentrifying other aspects to create a north american broad appeal will undoubtably pacify it enough to ruin it; as we've seen so many times before. simply because america doesn't have the history of losing a war on it's own soil. the fact that at the beginning it's labeled WW3 helps with the paranoia and the propaganda the japanese government uses to cover up the truth; the explosion at the beginning of the story is not theoretical in japan, it echoes a major historical moment. One that still has grave significance.

chronicle is a good american version of akira, one of my favorite movies of last year. while i think america has depth, it's not the type of historical depth that is needed for this story.

the only way i'd buy this as the white version of akira (and lets be honest, sadly that's what it's all about, and why as he hints at it being the major factor of why this film didn't get made) is if it was a neo-berlin or something similar. And really that would be stretching it, but this is a story from a nation that lost a lot being on the losing side of a war.

also a side note, if they ever do a live action and it takes place in a neo-tokyo, i really hope they go back to the source material. there are so many great themes in the manga (greek idolatry, deviant sexual dominance, drugs, cultism) that have to do with sociopathy and corruption of power. they were only, at best, briefly explored in the anime. It should be a trilogy to deal with all the themes.
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: Lottery on May 29, 2013, 06:18:31 PM
There's 6 volumes so bam, trilogy (the studio wanted a 2 part).

Also, the soundtrack by Geinoh-Yamashirogumi is perfect. Really helped with the tone and atmosphere of the film, you  got a feel of Neo-Tokyo as well a great sense of cosmic scale. No reason to have anyone else.
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 20??)
Post by: MacGuffin on August 01, 2013, 09:58:39 PM
Jaume Collet-Serra Returns to Direct ‘Akira’ (EXCLUSIVE)
Leonardo DiCaprio produces with Jennifer Davisson Killoran, Andrew Lazar
Source: Variety

Jaume Collet-Serra is in discussions to return to the “Akira” directors chair, signing on to helm Warner Bros. adaptation of the popular anime pic. The helmer left in early 2012 after production stalled.

In early 2012, the studio shut down pre-production so that fixes could be made to the script, including tightening the budget from its original $90 million range. At the time, Collet-Serra was in such high demand coming off the recent success of the Liam Neeson action pic “Unknown,” that he decided to leave instead of waiting for the changes to be made so that he could pursue other projects. He eventually landed another Neeson pic, “Non Stop,” which bows next February.

The studio did begin looking at other directors recently, including “Catfish” helmers Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, in hopes of finding someone who could deliver a film on a more smaller scale. But ultimately, the studio was still in love with Collet-Serra’s vision, and sources say the director found time in his schedule as well as a new way to appraoch the adaptation that would meet the studio’s budget request.

Collet-Serra is currently in pre-production on the crime pic “Run All Night” with Neeson, Joel Kinnaman and Ed Harris and would do “Akira” afterwards in spring of 2014. It is unknown what the new budget would be.

WB acquired the potential tentpole project for a seven-figure sum from Japanese manga publisher Kodansha in 2008. Set in New Manhattan, the cyberpunk sci-fi epic follows the leader of a biker gang who must save his friend, discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments.

Appian Way’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran are producing with Mad Chance’s Andrew Lazar. Katsuhiro Otomo, who wrote and directed the 1988 Japanese anime pic of the same name, will exec produce.

Garrett Hedlund was attached to star but it is unknown if his schedule would still allow him to do it.
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: polkablues on August 01, 2013, 10:23:38 PM
Can we please all stop pretending this movie is ever actually going to happen?
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: Lottery on May 16, 2017, 10:00:31 PM
http://collider.com/jordan-peele-not-directing-akira/

Quote
“I think [I could do it] if the story justifies it,” Peele said. “AKIRA is one of my favorite movies, and I think obviously the story justifies as big a budget as you can possibly dream of. But the real question for me is: Do I want to do pre-existing material, or do I want to do original content? At the end of the day, I want to do original stuff.”
Title: Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
Post by: Reelist on May 17, 2017, 10:47:34 AM
Thank the Lord! Why do movies studios assume that since your movie made $200 million, of course the next thing you'd like to do is make a $200 million movie? Akira is just another in the long line of expensive scifi remakes that will pale in compairson to the original, just like Robocop and Total Recall. Jordan* has so much more up his sleeve to offer than that.




* we're friends now