Most of us think the idea of a live-action remake of Akira is a terrible idea, especially starring a bunch of American actors. For more than a decade, Hollywood has been talking about this, with everyone from Leonardo DiCaprio to Zac Efron linked to the project at some point, and in no way has the news ever sounded anything but horrendous. The latest round of chatter appears to have died down, which is good, and as much as the idea still totally sucks, you really need to watch this fan-made trailer for a live-action Akira.
This impressive film from the Akira Project has been making the rounds on the Internet and we wanted to share it with you if you haven’t already checked it out. If you’re a fan, this is definitely worth the five minutes of your life it will take to watch. Though it is framed as a trailer, this plays more like a condensed version of the action than a preview. You get all of the important scenes and moments, and though the acting may be less than stellar—we are talking about a fan film here—everything else is damn near perfect.
The look, tone, and action in this video are spot on, and the most impressive feat is that this actually feels like Akira. From the visuals to the music, everything is spot on. They even managed to recreate the scope and scale of the original using, what you have to imagine, is an incredibly limited budget. If this feels like an almost exact replication, that’s no accident. Here’s a snipped from the Akira Project’s mission statement:
The Akira Project is a crowd-sourced, non-profit project meant to create a live action fan trailer of Akira, the renowned manga-turned-anime film from the late 1980’s; a stunning example of both mediums as art forms. While Hollywood has been working on a live-action Akira movie for a few years now, we, as fans, wanted to take a shot at making our own adaptation. A chance to stick as close to the source material as possible. A chance to do Akira justice.
Based on Katsuhiro Otomo’s 1980s manga of the same name, the 1988 adaptation of Akira, also directed by Otomo, has become the most hailed and recognized anime of all time. There may be some room for argument on the matter, I’m not super well versed in anime, but there aren’t many titles that are more popular or well known. The story takes place in a near-future Tokyo where cyberpunk biker gangs rule the streets. When a young gang member, Tetsuo, discovers that he has hidden psychic powers, all hell breaks loose.
While we can hope that a whitewashed version of Akira never comes to pass, this video should help soothe any hankering you might feel for a live-action adaptation. It is obviously made by people with a deep love for the source material, and is way more heartfelt than any studio interpretation could ever be.