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A few more details on the Akira adaptation that would have been

03.28.2012

Akira title slice

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.”

Akira explosion

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?’”

Akira K

Akira T

 

So AKIRA fans - what say you to what might have been?

Extra Tidbit: Send us more scoops!
Source: IFC

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+2
10:40AM on 03/29/2012

Glad its shelved.

As much as I was excited at first to see a live action version of this film, I'm glad the project fell apart. The manga is incredible and for the studio to not get it and go into it seeing dollar signs and not retaining the most important elements of the manga means that it is better off for all of us that this movie was scrapped.
As much as I was excited at first to see a live action version of this film, I'm glad the project fell apart. The manga is incredible and for the studio to not get it and go into it seeing dollar signs and not retaining the most important elements of the manga means that it is better off for all of us that this movie was scrapped.
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+4
5:41AM on 03/29/2012
Saw this on another website and I applaude the man. Hollywood simply doesn't understand that some things just don't translate properly. They couldn't even get Dragonball right, and that is quite possibly one of the simplest of stories in the manga world. Hollywood insists on changing things for the sake of making it more compatible to an American audience, and in the case of Akira (or really any manga), it simply doesn't work. The anime didn't even do the manga justice, how could a Hollywood
Saw this on another website and I applaude the man. Hollywood simply doesn't understand that some things just don't translate properly. They couldn't even get Dragonball right, and that is quite possibly one of the simplest of stories in the manga world. Hollywood insists on changing things for the sake of making it more compatible to an American audience, and in the case of Akira (or really any manga), it simply doesn't work. The anime didn't even do the manga justice, how could a Hollywood film do so? They need to learn to stop wasting money on trepid cash-in projects that don't do the art justice. I don't care if Hollywood IS a business, there are just some levels of respect you have to have.
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1:37AM on 03/29/2012
Toby Kebbell is THE MAN!!
Toby Kebbell is THE MAN!!
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4:53PM on 03/28/2012

Fuck Wrath of the TItans

This Johnny Fuckin' QUID we're talking about here. Respect!
This Johnny Fuckin' QUID we're talking about here. Respect!
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+7
4:41PM on 03/28/2012

Nice to see an actor with some integrity!

This franchise could be a big hit if the production company does it properly, and by the sounds of it, they're not. As a big Akira fan, i don't want to say pull the plug on this because i have this hope to see a great live adaption. But i do not want to see it become a disaster either.
This franchise could be a big hit if the production company does it properly, and by the sounds of it, they're not. As a big Akira fan, i don't want to say pull the plug on this because i have this hope to see a great live adaption. But i do not want to see it become a disaster either.
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+2
4:30PM on 03/28/2012
And the funny thing is that Kebbell could have been an interesting Tetsuo with that narrow almost otherworldly face of his...
And the funny thing is that Kebbell could have been an interesting Tetsuo with that narrow almost otherworldly face of his...
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2:27PM on 03/28/2012

The script

Has anyone else read the script? Wow. Best I can come up with is the studio said "Look, make it this, and don't try to come up with any thing great on your own."

No professional writer could possibly write something as terrible as what I read.

I'm exaggerating, but really, it's pretty bad.
Has anyone else read the script? Wow. Best I can come up with is the studio said "Look, make it this, and don't try to come up with any thing great on your own."

No professional writer could possibly write something as terrible as what I read.

I'm exaggerating, but really, it's pretty bad.
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4:28PM on 03/28/2012
Where can we get a hold of this aberration?
Where can we get a hold of this aberration?
+7
2:13PM on 03/28/2012
It's good to know this guy is as much a fan of Akira as I am.

Gotta respect the dude for not taking a star-making role because he was thinking of the quality of the story first.

Every point he makes is spot on. Especially his understanding of the Tetsuo/Kaneda relationship, and the fact that Tetsuo isn't the lead character (despite how integral he is to the story).
It's good to know this guy is as much a fan of Akira as I am.

Gotta respect the dude for not taking a star-making role because he was thinking of the quality of the story first.

Every point he makes is spot on. Especially his understanding of the Tetsuo/Kaneda relationship, and the fact that Tetsuo isn't the lead character (despite how integral he is to the story).
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+5
2:00PM on 03/28/2012

good lad!

Kebbell is the best,smartest, young British actor working today. He's going to be huge when the right project comes. Glad akira got shitcanned as it wasnt going to do him any favors. If you cant do it right leave Akira alone.If it HAS to be remade do an animated version of the actual manga and make it a series. The film was ok but didnt capture the scope of the books
Kebbell is the best,smartest, young British actor working today. He's going to be huge when the right project comes. Glad akira got shitcanned as it wasnt going to do him any favors. If you cant do it right leave Akira alone.If it HAS to be remade do an animated version of the actual manga and make it a series. The film was ok but didnt capture the scope of the books
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-13
1:52PM on 03/28/2012
I saw this on Coming Soon yesterday but I figured JoBlo was just gonna let them have it for a while so they didn't cry themselves to sleep over their inadequacies.
I saw this on Coming Soon yesterday but I figured JoBlo was just gonna let them have it for a while so they didn't cry themselves to sleep over their inadequacies.
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+16
1:35PM on 03/28/2012

Tidbit: my scoop!

Pretty pumped that i sent this scoop to joblo, and not even an hour later its posted.

Good on you JOBLO!

Pretty pumped that i sent this scoop to joblo, and not even an hour later its posted.

Good on you JOBLO!

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1:44PM on 03/28/2012
True story, and thanks for your enthusiasm!
True story, and thanks for your enthusiasm!
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