Akira Live Action Film
Rumours circulated a few years ago about an Akira project which was all set untill the budget was calculated to be in the region of $300,000,000, after which it was dumped. Chris Norrington was meant to direct so it was a good thing the project was scrapped. Well that is until today. This page will keep you uptodate on the new developments for the Akira Live Action film.
Above: Leonardo DiCaprio (Kaneda); Joseph Gordon Levitt (Tetsuo); and John Edward (Lady Miyako)
- The leads in Akira, Manhattan style? Ok, not quite.
So my first thoughts on this project is that it could be Akira mainly in name alone with a basic similarity in story. Think hollywood Godzilla, which was basically just a big lizard movie with a purchased name to secure bums in seats. The story could be - Psychic powers develop, city destroyed, new power hierarchy evolves and the New Manhattan Empire is created, a bunch of kids in their late-late twenties do battle. The fat cats make a bunch of cash, we cry and another work of art is raped of all it's beauty. These were only my initial thoughts.
I think obviously the characters will have different names and ages because in the Manga/Anime they are both in their mid teens and Japanese. With that in mind, it's ironic that Dicaprio actually looks more like Tetsuo and Levitt more like Kaneda. As I've said for years, DiCaprio would make a good Tetsuo on looks alone but looks shouldn't be any factor when bringing this story to the big screen unless it was trying to stay true to the original. I also said he would make a good Tetsuo when I was 15, that was 1995, he's aged a bit since then I would have thought. Well, the real fact is, he isn't playing in the film, he is just producing.
I'm wondering how many Japanese people will be in this film. The film is probably going to be called Akira, that much could be true so it will need atleast one Japanese boy, or who knows. If Manhattan was rebuilt by the Japanese I would believe that, in this near future metropolis it would be a very mixed race kinda place, so their could be many Japanese people and the place could be very close to the neo Tokyo of the manga, think Blade Runner and Little Tokyo. I think It would only work if it was a very Japanese super city, overpopulated with a balanced ratio of Japanese and Americans. Basically, as good as Neo Tokyo, only in America. It would be great if it contained all the iconography one would expect from a Japanese metropolis, but mixed in with western visuals too for a balance of east meets west in the not too distant future.
I think if they tried mixing Japanese and Western visuals, iconography, and actors this could be a really cool thing which could work well. But this is hollywood we need to remember, too many foreign ellements could diswade the paying proleteriat so wouldn't be a good thing in their eyes, or maybe they've found a director with integrity? we should hope.
I can only hope that Hollywood hasn't made a new westernised twist in which Akira is actually a machine built by the Japanese under New Manhattan when it was being constructed which accidentally gets activated / discovered by Tetsuo (or whatever he will be called). Akira is either a Japanese boy or some kind of crappy hollywood plot twist, he can't be anything else.
Two things are allready ringing alarm bells for me - fast tracked to 2009 and first time director are not things I want to hear on a project as big as this one should be, what are they doing rushing it?. Well what ever they do with this story, it will only be as good as putting John Edward in the film as Lady Miyako, it's only a metaphore, but isn't that exactly what hollywood usually does?.