Author Topic: Akira (Live Action - 2009)  (Read 7294 times)

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Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
« Reply #30 on: November 17, 2011, 02:11:31 AM »
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Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
« Reply #31 on: January 05, 2012, 02:36:06 PM »
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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.

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Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2012, 08:59:26 AM »
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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.
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Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2012, 04:02:57 PM »
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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.
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Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2012, 04:34:40 PM »
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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?
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Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
« Reply #35 on: January 11, 2012, 12:20:16 AM »
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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.
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Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
« Reply #36 on: January 12, 2012, 03:58:37 PM »
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can we run "hollywood" already?
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Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
« Reply #37 on: May 28, 2013, 05:08:56 PM »
+1
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.
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Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
« Reply #38 on: May 28, 2013, 07:15:46 PM »
+2
Let's hope this stays dead for a very long time.

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Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
« Reply #39 on: May 29, 2013, 02:06:45 PM »
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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.
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Lottery

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Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
« Reply #40 on: May 29, 2013, 06:18:31 PM »
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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.

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Re: Akira (Live Action - 20??)
« Reply #41 on: August 01, 2013, 09:58:39 PM »
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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.
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Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
« Reply #42 on: August 01, 2013, 10:23:38 PM »
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Can we please all stop pretending this movie is ever actually going to happen?
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Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
« Reply #43 on: May 16, 2017, 10:00:31 PM »
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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.”

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Re: Akira (Live Action - 2009)
« Reply #44 on: May 17, 2017, 10:47:34 AM »
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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.




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