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Akira gets the greenlight from Warner Bros, Garrett Hedlund the frontrunner for one of the two leads

10.20.2011

For those of you hoping that the live-action American version of the beloved AKIRA wouldn't get made... sorry!

Variety is reporting today that the new Americanized iteration of Katsuhiro Otomo's cyberpunk manga has officially been given the greenlight by Warner Bros. The film, with a $90 million budget in tow, will be directed by Jaume Collet-Sera (UNKNOWN, ORPHAN). This comes after a long and troubled development cycle, which most recently included losing director Albert Hughes (THE BOOK OF ELI, MENACE II SOCIETY) over so-called "creative differences". When Collet-Sera came aboard, many of you felt it to be a bland and boring choice. And frankly, you're not wrong.

But how's this for more boring? Variety says that the frontrunner to have emerged for one of the film's two leads is TRON: LEGACY's Garrett Hedlund. My apologies if you like him. But if not, take comfort in the fact that nothing is official at this point (though an offer is said to be coming possibly soon).

Set in "New Manhattan", AKIRA follows "the leader of a biker gang who must save his friend, discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments."
Extra Tidbit: If you could, who would you cast in AKIRA?
Source: Variety

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12:13PM on 10/23/2011
They're going to americanize no matter what anyone wants... but JGL all the way.
They're going to americanize no matter what anyone wants... but JGL all the way.
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8:49AM on 10/21/2011
Dear Warner Bros.
(reconsiders, deletes email)
Dear Warner Bros.
(reconsiders, deletes email)
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+0
3:39AM on 10/21/2011
I still don't even see why this project is being considered. Yes, it could be adapted into a generic apocalyptic tale, but then it wouldn't be Akira. Neo-Tokyo is very much apart of the story, so Americanizing it and taking all the Japanese out of it nulls it from being Akira. If you're going to adapt it, just make it a new film altogether inspired by the original. But, obviously this is going to be a dumbed down Hollywood flick so audiences can "get it", cause there's no way you could take the
I still don't even see why this project is being considered. Yes, it could be adapted into a generic apocalyptic tale, but then it wouldn't be Akira. Neo-Tokyo is very much apart of the story, so Americanizing it and taking all the Japanese out of it nulls it from being Akira. If you're going to adapt it, just make it a new film altogether inspired by the original. But, obviously this is going to be a dumbed down Hollywood flick so audiences can "get it", cause there's no way you could take the entire Akira and put it in a two hour film and have it make any sense. Just look at the anime.
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+1
1:29AM on 10/21/2011
i would really like to see someone sucseed in making anime movies into live action. Im so stoked for this to happen, but at the same time do not want to leave the theatre heart broken as i did after watching Dragonball Evolution. There are so many haters out here. If directors, and movie production companies don't take a risk.. If you enjoyed the books, and movie.. Have some faith, and hope
i would really like to see someone sucseed in making anime movies into live action. Im so stoked for this to happen, but at the same time do not want to leave the theatre heart broken as i did after watching Dragonball Evolution. There are so many haters out here. If directors, and movie production companies don't take a risk.. If you enjoyed the books, and movie.. Have some faith, and hope
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11:05PM on 10/20/2011
I don't get how this is even possible. I've read the books and seen the animated film and both wouldn't work as a live action film. The books are massive and would take at very least two three hour films with a lot of material cut out, while the animated film was so cut-up it barely made sense (I like both sources, btw).
I don't get how this is even possible. I've read the books and seen the animated film and both wouldn't work as a live action film. The books are massive and would take at very least two three hour films with a lot of material cut out, while the animated film was so cut-up it barely made sense (I like both sources, btw).
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+0
5:41PM on 10/20/2011
CANADAAAAAA!
CANADAAAAAA!
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+4
4:32PM on 10/20/2011

Tidbit - non Americanized

Steve Yeun - Glenn Walking Dead
Steve Yeun - Glenn Walking Dead
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2:44PM on 10/20/2011
Maybe it will be straight to DVD, or even better, a TV movie....they can even debut it on The WB!
Maybe it will be straight to DVD, or even better, a TV movie....they can even debut it on The WB!
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+3
1:58PM on 10/20/2011
As long as there's lots of yelling of "TETSUO!!!" and "KANEDA!!!!!" I'll be happy.
As long as there's lots of yelling of "TETSUO!!!" and "KANEDA!!!!!" I'll be happy.
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6:49AM on 10/21/2011
i think itll be more like "BRAD" and "Aiden"
i think itll be more like "BRAD" and "Aiden"
+5
12:27PM on 10/20/2011
I guess we'll get 'Karl' and 'Ted' as the bikers, hopefully they'll get a little Asian kid for the title role.
AKIRA is so distinctly Japanese, I don't see how they plan on making an American release that retains the insane 'dude turns into a mega fleshy-thing and blows up reality' finale. Plan on it being altered for the masses just like another graphic novel-to-film, WATCHMEN (I want my giant space-squid, dammit!)
I guess we'll get 'Karl' and 'Ted' as the bikers, hopefully they'll get a little Asian kid for the title role.
AKIRA is so distinctly Japanese, I don't see how they plan on making an American release that retains the insane 'dude turns into a mega fleshy-thing and blows up reality' finale. Plan on it being altered for the masses just like another graphic novel-to-film, WATCHMEN (I want my giant space-squid, dammit!)
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12:21PM on 10/20/2011

I sense that...

... the only way to salvage this is to hire Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito for the roles. Makes about as much sense as an American, live action remake anyway...
... the only way to salvage this is to hire Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito for the roles. Makes about as much sense as an American, live action remake anyway...
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+3
11:47AM on 10/20/2011
The main problem is that anime and manga are very particular mediums that usually only work within themselves. Someone mentioned Dragon Ball, great example. The anime and manga have a certain feel (sometimes serious, sometimes absurdly funny) itís difficult to really get the same feel in a movie. I mean if handled correctly I am sure Akira would be a remarkable film, but the mentality isnít there for it. You would have to Peter Jackson this thing (serious approach and willing to take chances)
The main problem is that anime and manga are very particular mediums that usually only work within themselves. Someone mentioned Dragon Ball, great example. The anime and manga have a certain feel (sometimes serious, sometimes absurdly funny) itís difficult to really get the same feel in a movie. I mean if handled correctly I am sure Akira would be a remarkable film, but the mentality isnít there for it. You would have to Peter Jackson this thing (serious approach and willing to take chances) in order for it to succeed. I donít see that happening with the people mentioned.
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10:11AM on 10/20/2011

This will be shitty

Mark my words, this will be as bad as the dragonball movie.
Mark my words, this will be as bad as the dragonball movie.
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10:10AM on 10/20/2011
I am one of the few that loved Orphan, but for Warner Bros.' choice in choosing Jaume-Collet can be a man on a wire. It can go either way. But I will give him a chance and hopefully it would work out. I have never read the manga, but sure it will give me a new perspective on the film.
I am one of the few that loved Orphan, but for Warner Bros.' choice in choosing Jaume-Collet can be a man on a wire. It can go either way. But I will give him a chance and hopefully it would work out. I have never read the manga, but sure it will give me a new perspective on the film.
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9:37AM on 10/20/2011
I'm still confused though. Why are they even calling this Akira? If they're changing the location to "New Manhattan", why would they call the main characters by Japanese names like "Kaneda" and "Tetsuo"? That's assuming they will but it just seems beyond stupid if it will be set in America.
I'm still confused though. Why are they even calling this Akira? If they're changing the location to "New Manhattan", why would they call the main characters by Japanese names like "Kaneda" and "Tetsuo"? That's assuming they will but it just seems beyond stupid if it will be set in America.
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9:27AM on 10/20/2011
This is a bunch of wrong in my opinion. A bad idea.
This is a bunch of wrong in my opinion. A bad idea.
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9:22AM on 10/20/2011
I would love to see a live-action Akira movie...I just have very little faith that whatever company is producing this movie along with WB can do it justice. A good Manga/Anime based film could open the doors to alot of amazing adaptations...Cowboy Bebop, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Mobile Suit Gundam...
I would love to see a live-action Akira movie...I just have very little faith that whatever company is producing this movie along with WB can do it justice. A good Manga/Anime based film could open the doors to alot of amazing adaptations...Cowboy Bebop, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Mobile Suit Gundam...
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9:18AM on 10/20/2011
I don't mind Hedlund that much. Still would have loved to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tetsuo.
I don't mind Hedlund that much. Still would have loved to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tetsuo.
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+3
9:03AM on 10/20/2011
Garrett is okay, but how close are they going to stick to the source material?
Garrett is okay, but how close are they going to stick to the source material?
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+11
9:01AM on 10/20/2011
I also have something negative to say.
I also have something negative to say.
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9:00AM on 10/20/2011
The Hughes bros leaving due to creative differences, further emphasizes the fact the studio is going to rape this anime.
The Hughes bros leaving due to creative differences, further emphasizes the fact the studio is going to rape this anime.
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8:30AM on 10/20/2011
I hope it fails.
I hope it fails.
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7:46AM on 10/20/2011
I expect this to be on par in quality with the Dragon Ball movie.
I expect this to be on par in quality with the Dragon Ball movie.
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11:10AM on 10/20/2011
Exactly what I was thinking. Not only is this an unnecessary adaptation, but a whitewash at that.
Exactly what I was thinking. Not only is this an unnecessary adaptation, but a whitewash at that.
+16
7:25AM on 10/20/2011

tidbit

japanese or japanese american actors
japanese or japanese american actors
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+10
7:01AM on 10/20/2011

casting

Andrew Garfield as Kaneda
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tetsuo
Andrew Garfield as Kaneda
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tetsuo
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