A live action 'Akira' is coming (but is it a good idea?)
October 24th, 2011
02:50 PM ET

A live action 'Akira' is coming (but is it a good idea?)

Last week's news that the long-rumored live action "Akira" film adaptation was moving forward (possibly starring "Tron: Legacy's" Garrett Hedlund), hasn't exactly been welcomed by fans with open arms.

"I hope that a live action Akira will do for the manga and original anime what [the film adaptation of] 'Watchmen' did for the graphic novel," said "Akira" superfan Joe Peacock. "I hope that the interest in the new film and subsequent buzz will pique interests of casual fans, or hardcore comic fans who never delved into manga or anime, and get them buying the original material and studying it. 'Akira' is such a phenomenon on both the graphic novel and animation fronts - it's the single greatest animated feature film ever made."

Peacock said he thinks the movie is "likely to suck," but he hopes to be proven wrong.

Patrick Macias, editor-in-chief of Otaku USA magazine, is not any more optimistic.

"Like most fans, I think it’s a bad idea and I’m generally just very skeptical," he said. "Mainly because adapting anime and manga into Hollywood movies has yet to bring forth anything either very entertaining or profitable. The original AKIRA anime and manga are widely recognized as masterpieces in their respective genres, so why ruin a good thing?"

Macias describes what he's been hearing from fans as "overwhelmingly negative."

"They can’t stand it when a US distributor re-edits an anime or changes the dialogue for a manga translation, so this is something like that on a $90 million dollar scale."

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soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. outawork

    The manga was like 6 phone books. I always wished they'd turn it in to an anime series to cover the entire story.

    October 26, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
  2. Stefan

    Why? Akira is still great. The animation holds up, the story is sitll engaging, why? There's nothing wrong with the original. Art is one of those things that can't be recreated – sometimes there's a 'perfect storm' where it just works out. So why remake it? There's a chance it will be good, a tiny chance it will surpass the original, and a huge chance it will be terrible, and leave a generation of people thinking Akira is crap
    . Why remake it?

    Oh, I know. Because you're in hollywood. Too busy paying 45 million dollars to make a CGI pineapple than to hire a screenwriter. So you steal ideas and remake them. Poorly.

    And honestly, shouldn't Shia Lebouf be cast in this? He seems to like ruining movies from the 80s more than anyone.

    October 26, 2011 at 10:46 am |
  3. jon

    Akira was good; though I might suggest a bit overly hyped. I'm looking forward to James Cameron's adaptation of Battle Angel Alita.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  4. Steve

    I think the kid from Tron would make a Good Kaneda. They would have to rename the characters and relocate the city to manhattan or something like that since they're using white actors. Ill probably even go watch it even if it has bad reviews. I bet most people will.

    October 25, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  5. Trollus Maximus

    Sorry, but I can't support this. No way in hell. They'll rename Kaneda into Ken and Tetsuo into Tom. It won't be NeoTokyo, it'll be something like Manhattan or LA. By the time they're finished, it won't even be Akira anymore, and that's just depressing. So, no, I won't go see this. Hell, I'll actively campaign against it if I have to.

    October 25, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  6. KajinPL

    For once, I would like to see a film adaptation with quality direction as oppsed to "no-namers" who come out of no where and makes a crap movie. Is it too much to ask to have these films directed by someone of James Cameron, Steven Speilberg or someone of that caliber?

    October 25, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  7. Mike

    Evangelion is, I think, doable as a live action film... but I don't think Akira would be. There would have to be a LOT of wire-fu for Akira, and you'd have to have a lot of Guillermo del Toro-esque costumes for the crazy mutation sequences, and even then, I don't think it would look right. That's really my problem with Anime-to-Live-Action conversions. Yes, you can do this all with CGI... but it would take a lot of work to make it look right. Practically the entire last half of the movie would have to be green screen.

    That said, if someone could do it, and if they could keep the script basically the same, I would welcome it. Akira is only a "classic" because of when it was released. Its animation style is actually pretty horrible, at least by today's standards. The story is very, very '80s, with '80s pacing and a very '80s "post-apocalyptic" vision. It could stand an update. I own the movie, but not because I like the anime... rather because I like the story behind it and because I like to remind myself how far the art form has come in only a few short decades.

    October 25, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
  8. ps3chick

    I don't have a problem with the story being made into a live action movie. Usually adaptations like that become their own sort of story. Dragonball was an abomination because it was a terrible movie, not just a bad re-telling of the story. As long as they make the story quality and engaging, I will still support it even if it's not exactly like the Akira I love. After all, I can still go watch my copy of the anime at home.

    October 25, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • Khadija

      I have one question: does annyoe who loves this series also love the books? Personally, I absolutely loved the books, aside from the final trilogy and especially the way Goodkind ended them. But aside from those three books, it seemed that show had plenty of great material to use without having to change anything. The series is changing specifics from the books for no apparent reason (any reader of the book series knows exactly what i'm talking about)and that is making the show very hard for me to want to watch it. Which is a bummer for me to say because I had such high hopes, and was very excited for this series. Am I the only fan of the books who feels this way??

      July 3, 2012 at 4:00 am |
  9. KajinPL

    I don't think so. All anime to movie adaptations have been failures. Anyone remember Fist of the North Star?

    October 25, 2011 at 11:53 am |
  10. question

    Hey I know it has nothing to do with this but since you are talking about anime into film. Was there a live action movie been made about Evangelion? What happened with that?

    October 25, 2011 at 2:53 am |
  11. twistedpuppet

    NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!!!! I have read articles about the script for this thing. It is nothing but garbage!!! They change the story. They change the entire concept of the movie and make it about 40 somethings doing drugs! They change the names of the main characters to sound more "American" and make them brothers! BROTHERS!!! Tetsuo and Kanada were NOT BROTHERS!!!!! This movie is going to be horrible. This is going to be worse than Dragon Ball Evolution!!!!!!!!!

    Tetsuo and Kanada were JUVENILE DELIQUENTS!! NOT 40 somethings.


    October 24, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
  12. S.E.Canesi

    I would love to see a really good really loyal live action Akira movie, hell if it was great I'd go see it multiple times, but all these rumors of new manhattan and the actors that they supposedly have lined up just makes me not want to even try to see it. And you would think after the disaster that was Dragonball they would know better.

    October 24, 2011 at 7:34 pm |