0

Akira American Live-Action Remake Is Alive Again

fb share tweet share

Akira logoIt looks like Akira is back in development. In early 2012, director Jaume Collet-Serra walked away from the American remake of the 1988 Japanese Anime Akira when production stalled. The film’s producers were scrabbling to put together a budget, and Collet-Serra decided to pursue other projects. He just finished working on the film Non-Stop, starring Liam Neeson, so now it seems as if Collet-Serra is back in the director’s chair for the long-awaited Akira remake.

According to Variety, Warner Bros. was trying to get the Akira budget down from $90 million to something more manageable when Jaume Collet-Serra left the project in early 2012. The studio looked for a new director, even turning to Catfish directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman. In spite of moving on, Warner Bros. was apparently very happy with Collet-Serra’s vision for an American remake set in New Manhattan, rather than Neo Tokyo like in the original film.

At the moment, Collet-Serra is in pre-production on the film Run All Night, again starring Liam Neeson, Joel Kinnaman, and Ed Harris, so the earliest he would start working on Akira would be spring 2014, after a new budget is decided upon.

0

Akira Live-Action Concept Art Shows Off Future Cityscapes And Sleek Motorcycles

fb share tweet share

TetsuoThe live-action adaptation of the anime classic Akira still seems to be mired in development hell, and many fans will likely consider that a good thing. But even if a live-action Akira would be fighting the odds not to be a complete disaster, it’s always a shame when a huge project like this slips into limbo simply because a lot of talented people had sunk their time and efforts into trying to make it happen. Chief among those are the concept and storyboard artists whose vision plays a huge part of developing what the final product might look like. So while it’s probably just as well that Akira is still just spinning its wheels, it’s worth taking a moment to check out some of the awesome concept art done for the project along the way.

First up are some gorgeous looks at the cityscape of Neo-Manhattan (which might have actually been called Neo-Tokyo). We’ve actually seen other Akira images by this artist, Rodolfo Dimaggio, but he recently posted a ton more on his website. Check them out below. (He also did the above image of Tetsuo wrecking up the place.)

0

After Earth Screenwriter Gary Whitta On The Stalled Live-Action Akira Movie

fb share tweet share

AkiraHeadGary Whitta most recently co-wrote After Earth with director M. Night Shyamalan, a flick that could have finally given Shyamalan a big-screen comeback, but which has instead underperformed at the box office. While that’s not the result any movie writer would hope for, Whitta is no stranger to high-profile projects that seem plagued by bad luck. In a new interview with Collider, Whitta opens up about his time spent working on the live-action Akira adaptation that’s been in the works since the dawn of time.

While Akira has gone through numerous other creative teams and is currently mired in development hell, Whitta was one of the earliest writers attached to the project. He tells Collider that he worked on the project for about six months, during which it was attached to director Ruairi Robinson. As Whitta explains, there were obstacles to overcome from the beginning, ranging from trying to avoid an R rating, to finding a way to make it more approachable to American audiences without “whitewashing” the story and characters. (See Shyamalan’s previous film, The Last Airbender, for an example of how not to handle that second problem.) Whitta jokes about the prospect of Shia LeBeouf playing Tetsuo, but then reveals their solution to handling the project’s Japanese roots. They would have set it in New Manhattan…but it still would have been set in New Tokyo. It sounds confusing, but here’s Whitta’s explanation:

0

Unused Concept Art For Live-Action Akira

fb share tweet share

Who knows if Warner Bros. will ever get the American remake of Akira off the ground. The project has been riddled with production stops and starts, casting issues, and controversy for “whitewashing” the original characters and story. Now some unused concept art has shown up online, giving us a look at Neo-Manhattan, as well as rough illustrations of a white Kaneda.

0

See A Real Working Version Of Kaneda’s Bike From Akira

fb share tweet share

Without a doubt the coolest, most iconic image from the classic sci-fi anime Akira is that of Shotaro Kaneda’s red, futuristic motorcycle blasting down the highway. That sweet ride has long been the fantasy conveyance of nerds everywhere, but one geek has stepped up and made that fantasy a reality.

Yep, that’s a real working version of Kaneda’s bike. It was made by Masashi Teshima, a resident of Fukuoka, Japan. Anime News says it took him seven-years and roughly $121,000 US to build, but the results make it seem like it was worth the effort.

0

Storyboards From Live Action Akira Reveal Blonde Kaneda

fb share tweet share

The live action version of Akira is all but shut down due to budgetary concerns at Warner Bros., but a lot of work has already been done on the film so why not share that with the world if the film will never see the light of day, right? Concept artist Sylvain Despretz had been working on art and storyboards for what supposedly was not a great script, and io9 got their hands on a few pages of the work. Scope them out below.