A few more details on the Akira adaptation that would have been
Thanks to the eagle eye of one of our readers, here is some illumination as to what was going on behind the scenes of the recently shelved adaptation of AKIRA. The information comes from Toby Kebbell (WRATH OF THE TITANS), a British actor who was under consideration to play Tetsuo to Garrett Hedlund's Kaneda.
“They were like, ‘This is going to be a big franchise!’" To which Kebbell replied, ‘Then in that case, understand that I’ve read the comics, and I’ve read the comics that got turned into the annuals, and then the annuals that got turned into the one-off anime. So if you really want to do it, then why don’t you look at the six comics and just put two into each film? That way my character, Tetsuo, is not the lead,” advocated Kebbell. “He’s not the second lead, and he’s not the third or the fourth lead, because there are eight major characters there. You’ve got great young actors, and you could get them in there. That’s the way to do it if you want to do sequels.”
“They were like, ‘Welllll…' So Kebbell said, ‘Then this is a remake [of the animated movie], and I don’t want to do a live-action remake of the cartoon, because [the cartoon] is perfect and you’re not going to do it dark enough — so therefore, I don’t want to do it.”
The kicker of it all for Kebbell was the potential treatment of the relationship between Tetsuo and Kaneda, the gang leader who takes Tetsuo under his wing and treats him like a younger brother. Kebbell explains how this is the main theme of the story and unalterable if an adaptation is to be any good at all.
“The other thing they wanted to do was make [Tetsuo and Kaneda] brothers,” Kebbell explained. “I was like, ‘The point is that Tetsuo can’t comprehend how someone who isn’t his brother could love him so much — and that’s where his wrath and his rage come from. Do you not see that? Why have you made them brothers? What the f*** are you doing?’”
So AKIRA fans - what say you to what might have been?
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