Live-action Jaume Collet-Serra Akira Greenlight by Warner Bros., Garrett Hedlund possible lead. A live-action film adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo‘s 1988 anime classic is moving forward with Jaume Collet-Serra in the director’s seat and Garrett Hedlund in the motorcycle seat of Kaneda, if he accepts the lead role. Jaume Collet-Serrs is now in charge of a “newly-budgeted $90 million movie about the leader of a biker gang whose best friend is infected with an unstoppable power.”
According to a recent article,
Warner Bros. has held the rights to the property since 2008 when it purchased them for seven figures…Hedlund comes with a leading man resume and much lower price tag. “Though no offer’s been made, insiders say it’s only a matter of time,” says Variety of his possible casting.
We previously wrote about the prospect of a live-action Akira film here: Live action Akira films are coming and about the anime here: 5 Essential Anime Films you need to View Pt.2. Tyler Stout‘s Akira poster (click to enlarge):
Akira poster, Tyler Stout
The plot of the anime film the live-action film will probably be based on:
The film depicts a dystopian Neo-Tokyo in 2019. The plot focuses on biker Tetsuo Shima (Nozomu Sasaki) and his psychic powers and the biker gang member Shotaro Kaneda (Mitsuo Iwata), who tries to hunt down Tetsuo from releasing Akira. While most of the character designs and basic settings were adapted from the original 2182-page manga epic, the restructured plot of the movie differs considerably from the print version, pruning much of the last half of the manga. The film became a hugely popular cult film and is widely considered to be a landmark in Japanese animation and film making in general.
Katsuhiro Otomo will be an executive producer on the live-film adaptation.
One fan’s view of 1988’s Akira and its live-action adaptation:
It’s a massive, massive movie with huge action and really weird, almost noncommercial character swings. Every time you watch it you see something different and to translate that to live action will be an epic undertaking, especially at only $90 million. Expect it to be bare bones, gritty and – probably – without much of the violence and pessimism that made the original so wonderful.
I think a live action Akira sounds like a bad idea, especially a big-budget version. It will be water-down and family-tized. It’s edge and sub-text will be wiped out in lieu of commercialization, merchandise, and possible sequels. What is your view on a live-action Akira?