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Is the live-action Akira doomed to the fiery pits of Hell?

02.17.2011

KANEDAAAA!!!!!!

Seriously, where the f*ck is that kid? We'd really like to get this whole live-action AKIRA thing moving...or not. Maybe Kaneda knows that without the right director and right cast, shit gets bad for this real quick.

Why am I even talking about this? Because as I was reporting about Mila Kunis getting the role in OZ, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL, I learned that she was up for a role in AKIRA.

Here's what Vulture shared on the subject:

"Still, you canít blame the Hughes Bros. for a lack of trying to land the star of Black Swan. Weíre told by knowledgeable insiders that director Albert Hughes had been pleading with Warner Bros. senior management to let him cast the best possible actors, regardless of their worldwide profiles ó or lack of them. But Akira is such an expensive movie, the studio is insisting on a massive star to anchor the film. So much so that earlier in the week, Warner Bros. president Jeff Robinov phoned up Brad Pitt himself and offered him the lead role of Kaneda. Because the studio didnít allow Hughes to cast whomever he wanted to in the lead role, weíre told Robinov relented and allowed Hughes to make the offer to Kunis to play Kei, the gorgeous young revolutionary with whom Kaneda becomes enamored on his quest to find his disappeared best friend."

"But when Pitt passed on Akira two days ago, it threw the immediate future of the Hughes' project into disarray. Because itís not yet clear which Big Movie Star would be both right for the Kaneda part and available to play it, just when Akira might fire up production remains unclear. And in that state of uncertainty, we hear Kunis is committing to starring in Oz instead: Shooting is set to begin this July at the Walt Disney Studios."

Um...isn't Pitt a little older for Kaneda anyway? Kaneda is a teenager. It might be a bit hard for Pitt to pass off for that nowadays. I really hoped that Joseph Gordon Levitt would be Tetsuo. That was such a good match. Ben Foster would be good as well, just sayin'. Right now it just looks like (and has always looked like) this project is not a good idea. Unless, like I said, all the pieces come together.

Do you think they should still keep on? I'm sure they will, but I just--pass.

Extra Tidbit: Are the Hughes Brothers a good fit?
Source: Vulture

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+0
6:53PM on 02/18/2011
I can never understand why studios would green light crap like Air Bender, Sorcerer's Apprentice and Prince of Persia. Each of which had a budget of $150-$200mil and only made half of that back. Yet, they won't take the gamble to green light movies like Akira or God of War??
I can never understand why studios would green light crap like Air Bender, Sorcerer's Apprentice and Prince of Persia. Each of which had a budget of $150-$200mil and only made half of that back. Yet, they won't take the gamble to green light movies like Akira or God of War??
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2:56PM on 02/18/2011

I think...

A live action movie of this story could be down well....as long as they use the whole story. The original animated version is so hacked up from the Manga, it's absolutely ridiculous. The movie itself only covers the story from the first book, and even that's brutally hacked up. There's 5 more fucking books to the story, along with key characters that didn't make it into the original animated movie. Akira himself, plays a HUGE role throughout the story. Oh yeah, and in the movie, they
A live action movie of this story could be down well....as long as they use the whole story. The original animated version is so hacked up from the Manga, it's absolutely ridiculous. The movie itself only covers the story from the first book, and even that's brutally hacked up. There's 5 more fucking books to the story, along with key characters that didn't make it into the original animated movie. Akira himself, plays a HUGE role throughout the story. Oh yeah, and in the movie, they slightly reference some drug use, but in the book, Tetsuo has to constantly consume drugs just to maintain a little sanity.

As much as I really, REALLY like the movie (both the original dub, original sub, and the re-release with new dub/sub voices [the best IMO]), the movie can't hold a candle to the original manga.

Fuck, I need to go reread this story again, it's been a few years, and it's fucking EPIC!!
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2:58PM on 02/18/2011
This also holds true to Ghost In The Shell. For anyone that didn't like the movie, go read the book, it's far superior, and has content that doesn't even surface in the film.
This also holds true to Ghost In The Shell. For anyone that didn't like the movie, go read the book, it's far superior, and has content that doesn't even surface in the film.
-3
1:53PM on 02/18/2011

how about...

instead of making a live action american version, they just redub the original anime with famous american actors doing the voicework?
instead of making a live action american version, they just redub the original anime with famous american actors doing the voicework?
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2:51PM on 02/18/2011
fail
fail
11:48AM on 02/18/2011

In response to your original question...

Let's hope so!!!!!!
Let's hope so!!!!!!
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+0
10:37AM on 02/18/2011

NO the Hughes brothers are not a good fit.

The only semi-decent thing they've made was From Hell. I think an American remake could turn out okay, but not the way they're going at it.
The only semi-decent thing they've made was From Hell. I think an American remake could turn out okay, but not the way they're going at it.
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8:49AM on 02/18/2011
I hope they leave this alone. It would be way too hard to get it right live action. I just can NOT see that working.
I hope they leave this alone. It would be way too hard to get it right live action. I just can NOT see that working.
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7:41AM on 02/18/2011
When you have a classic JAPANESE comic by JAPANESE writers and JAPANESE artists set in NEO TOKYO with JAPANESE characters and then have a mindblowing JAPANESE animation it's pretty clear it's a very treasured JAPANESE institution. To then make a big budget CGI laden movie with most likely no reference to Japan whatsoever besided probably giving the white characters Japanese names (which is fucking stupid) and doing all of this because they think that nobody will be interested if they set this
When you have a classic JAPANESE comic by JAPANESE writers and JAPANESE artists set in NEO TOKYO with JAPANESE characters and then have a mindblowing JAPANESE animation it's pretty clear it's a very treasured JAPANESE institution. To then make a big budget CGI laden movie with most likely no reference to Japan whatsoever besided probably giving the white characters Japanese names (which is fucking stupid) and doing all of this because they think that nobody will be interested if they set this in Japan with Japanese actors (despite the fact that this is what the fans actually want) is borderline racist. Controversial opinion, but it's my opinion.
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1:50PM on 02/18/2011
Neo Tokyo --> Neo York
Tetsuo --> Terrence
Kaneda --> Ken

pretty straightforward.
Neo Tokyo --> Neo York
Tetsuo --> Terrence
Kaneda --> Ken

pretty straightforward.
3:00PM on 02/18/2011
I couldn't agree with you more porkchop!
I couldn't agree with you more porkchop!
7:24AM on 02/18/2011
I'm not into the manga, and I'm only passingly familiar with the anime movie. I think I saw it once back in the 90's. From what I remember of this, it should NEVER be live action. It was pretty good, but also full of pretty trippy okay-for-anime stuff. Not everything can be adapted to live-action, nor should it. I think more folks would be disappointed than not. Look at Watchmen. I love it, but most people don't. And if you think that Akira will actually make it through the studio
I'm not into the manga, and I'm only passingly familiar with the anime movie. I think I saw it once back in the 90's. From what I remember of this, it should NEVER be live action. It was pretty good, but also full of pretty trippy okay-for-anime stuff. Not everything can be adapted to live-action, nor should it. I think more folks would be disappointed than not. Look at Watchmen. I love it, but most people don't. And if you think that Akira will actually make it through the studio process with less changes to the source material than Watchmen, I think you've got another thing coming.

I'd rather they leave an anime masterpiece alone than spawn some kind of live-action CGI abomination.
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7:23AM on 02/18/2011
Pitt would be much to old for Kaneda of course. Also I think that the motorcycle gang should be young cool japanese people. I wouldn't like to see an americanized version of Akira. Also I hope that a live-action version of it would be closer to the manga than the anime. Why do producers always have to take something that works perfectly and change it until it's almost unrecognizable?
Pitt would be much to old for Kaneda of course. Also I think that the motorcycle gang should be young cool japanese people. I wouldn't like to see an americanized version of Akira. Also I hope that a live-action version of it would be closer to the manga than the anime. Why do producers always have to take something that works perfectly and change it until it's almost unrecognizable?
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5:38AM on 02/18/2011

WTF?

Are they really trying to get a cast of white folks to play characters named Tetsuo, and Kaneda? Shouldn't they change the names?
And yes, the Hughes Bros. are a good fit.
Are they really trying to get a cast of white folks to play characters named Tetsuo, and Kaneda? Shouldn't they change the names?
And yes, the Hughes Bros. are a good fit.
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9:55AM on 02/18/2011
Change the names??? More like change the actors.
Change the names??? More like change the actors.
2:54AM on 02/18/2011

how about...

sticking to asians???? it is impossible for me to imagine white people doing this, like the white dude being Goku...just off. not bad, but just not right.
sticking to asians???? it is impossible for me to imagine white people doing this, like the white dude being Goku...just off. not bad, but just not right.
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3:48AM on 02/18/2011
Hear! Hear!
Hear! Hear!
3:02PM on 02/18/2011
That's a perfect reference there!
That's a perfect reference there!
1:25AM on 02/18/2011

Ben Foster?

I personally met Ben Foster at the Sarasota Film Festival last year and he's a douche bag. No way that role would fit him. He should keep his whole "I'm a creepy unstable badass" persona by continuing to play the same unhinged character over and over and over.
I personally met Ben Foster at the Sarasota Film Festival last year and he's a douche bag. No way that role would fit him. He should keep his whole "I'm a creepy unstable badass" persona by continuing to play the same unhinged character over and over and over.
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12:13AM on 02/18/2011
I remember a while back you guys reported that the Hughes brothers were not exactly concerned with staying true to the graphic novels, which in turn didn't make me that excited for their interpretation. and now the studios are out to fuck this over as well? Brad Pitt as a cyberpunk? No thanks.

On a side note, I think this would be a great project for David Fincher if his plate wasn't already full.
I remember a while back you guys reported that the Hughes brothers were not exactly concerned with staying true to the graphic novels, which in turn didn't make me that excited for their interpretation. and now the studios are out to fuck this over as well? Brad Pitt as a cyberpunk? No thanks.

On a side note, I think this would be a great project for David Fincher if his plate wasn't already full.
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11:11PM on 02/17/2011
Brad Pitt? seriously? wow..just fucking wow..just proves that those hollywood execs don't know jack shit
Brad Pitt? seriously? wow..just fucking wow..just proves that those hollywood execs don't know jack shit
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10:27PM on 02/17/2011

just wait....

'til the Evangelion adaptation news starts comin' in...
'til the Evangelion adaptation news starts comin' in...
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7:21AM on 02/18/2011
Are you serious? 'Cause I don't think the world is ready for a live action Evangelion.
Are you serious? 'Cause I don't think the world is ready for a live action Evangelion.
6:02PM on 02/18/2011
Yeah, because that series sucked balls. I shoved myself through that shitfest, just to say that I saw it, and by the end, I realized that I had wasted away several hours of my life to panzy ass whining douchebag animated teenagers.
Yeah, because that series sucked balls. I shoved myself through that shitfest, just to say that I saw it, and by the end, I realized that I had wasted away several hours of my life to panzy ass whining douchebag animated teenagers.
+4
10:12PM on 02/17/2011
Why am I hip to this news? Because this kind of trouble means this film will spend more years in film limbo and less time making it's way to screen. Brad Pitt? Seriously? How in the hell could anyone think Brad Pitt would be good for this film. Oh yeah, big film execs who probably can't even pronounce the title of the film, much less having seen it (Aakaira? Aykeerah?). If they had seen the anime, they would know two things: the anime couldn't successfully adapt the over 2000 page manga and
Why am I hip to this news? Because this kind of trouble means this film will spend more years in film limbo and less time making it's way to screen. Brad Pitt? Seriously? How in the hell could anyone think Brad Pitt would be good for this film. Oh yeah, big film execs who probably can't even pronounce the title of the film, much less having seen it (Aakaira? Aykeerah?). If they had seen the anime, they would know two things: the anime couldn't successfully adapt the over 2000 page manga and that a live-action Akira would totally f with American film goers heads, and not in a friendly way. Then again, we all know that they would change it heavily into something that loses everything that made Akira such a vital part of anime. I could go on and on about what mistake this whole project is, but I'll just finish on the note that the longer Akira stays away from being live action and out of our theaters, the better.
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+10
9:00PM on 02/17/2011

BULLSHIT

The fucking studios will fuck this legend in the ass...all they care about is us hopeful fanboys/girls forking over the $$$$
The fucking studios will fuck this legend in the ass...all they care about is us hopeful fanboys/girls forking over the $$$$
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8:39PM on 02/17/2011
All these developments sound awful. I mean, Brad Pitt as Kaneda? Did anyone even bother to read the original manga or watch Katsuhiro Otomo's masterpiece animated adaption?
All these developments sound awful. I mean, Brad Pitt as Kaneda? Did anyone even bother to read the original manga or watch Katsuhiro Otomo's masterpiece animated adaption?
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8:37PM on 02/17/2011
It would be cool to have a great Akira movie, but unless the stars align, then they should not bother.
It would be cool to have a great Akira movie, but unless the stars align, then they should not bother.
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+1
8:25PM on 02/17/2011
I mentioned this on another post, but it's really hard for me to back this project because I'm such a huge fan of the manga and the original film. So if this is the end of it I'm happy.

But...RANTish comments:

Only a few details give me some hope for the American version, particularly the fact that it sounds like it will be different enough from the source material that it could hopefully stand on its own.

Casting older actors for the principals already means that the whole
I mentioned this on another post, but it's really hard for me to back this project because I'm such a huge fan of the manga and the original film. So if this is the end of it I'm happy.

But...RANTish comments:

Only a few details give me some hope for the American version, particularly the fact that it sounds like it will be different enough from the source material that it could hopefully stand on its own.

Casting older actors for the principals already means that the whole disenfranchised / delinquent youth aspect of the story will be dropped.

Kei's character doesn't do a whole lot in the anime, but she is very prominent in the manga. This also leads me to believe that they'll be adapting parts of the story that aren't in the original. Which hopefully means they'll go beyond the point where that one ended (the anime ends basically where book 2 ends, and there are 6 (long) books). So much happens afterwards that there's a wealth of material to mine.

Finally, I like the Hughes. I enjoyed Book of Eli, From Hell is interesting despite its flaws, Menace II Society and Dead Presidents are good too. But, most importantly, they all deal with characters fighting with broken societies, which is a BIG part of Akira.
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8:36PM on 02/17/2011
You are correct. Going with older actors is not only a massive mistake, but in turn it fucks with the source material. One of the biggest themes to me is that they are all at a pivotal age when all this happens. Tetsuo battles his insecurity and broken feelings he has as he goes through what he does. Kaneda fills in the assertive, older brother role, which naturally occurs out of their close friendship. If they were older, the feeling would be lost in my opinion. I just read the first manga,
You are correct. Going with older actors is not only a massive mistake, but in turn it fucks with the source material. One of the biggest themes to me is that they are all at a pivotal age when all this happens. Tetsuo battles his insecurity and broken feelings he has as he goes through what he does. Kaneda fills in the assertive, older brother role, which naturally occurs out of their close friendship. If they were older, the feeling would be lost in my opinion. I just read the first manga, but I am a long time fan of the film.

When I first heard about this, I wasn't too happy about it. Seeing what I see in the animated film, then thinking of it being translated into live action is just mind boggling to me.

BTW, your rant is appreciated here.
9:46PM on 02/17/2011
Yeah, that older brother, younger brother relationship is a HUGE part of the story. You see it so much more in the manga than in the anime.

In fact, I URGE everyone who's a fan of the anime to read the manga if they haven't. The anime pales, absolutely pales in comparison.

I love the anime, I rate it a 10/10, a classic, but the manga is at least a 12/10.
Yeah, that older brother, younger brother relationship is a HUGE part of the story. You see it so much more in the manga than in the anime.

In fact, I URGE everyone who's a fan of the anime to read the manga if they haven't. The anime pales, absolutely pales in comparison.

I love the anime, I rate it a 10/10, a classic, but the manga is at least a 12/10.
8:23PM on 02/17/2011
Hearing that Pitt was up for the role of Kaneda shows this was a bad idea. Now if hw was supposed to be the general maybe...
Hearing that Pitt was up for the role of Kaneda shows this was a bad idea. Now if hw was supposed to be the general maybe...
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8:22PM on 02/17/2011
I really hope this never fucking happens.

Why not turn the original 38 part manga into an anime mini series?
I really hope this never fucking happens.

Why not turn the original 38 part manga into an anime mini series?
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8:20PM on 02/17/2011

Let It Burn...

...the Hughes are already making big changes to the source material anyway, so fuckit.

Who needs a live action Akira anyway? Like...seriously.
...the Hughes are already making big changes to the source material anyway, so fuckit.

Who needs a live action Akira anyway? Like...seriously.
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8:24PM on 02/17/2011
Like seriously indeed sir.
Like seriously indeed sir.
+12
8:14PM on 02/17/2011
If you can't do it right, leave it be.
If you can't do it right, leave it be.
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8:04PM on 02/17/2011
good riddance. There is no need to ruin arguably the greatest anime of all time. NO LIVE ACTION AKIRA!!!! Ever.
good riddance. There is no need to ruin arguably the greatest anime of all time. NO LIVE ACTION AKIRA!!!! Ever.
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