Is it too crazy to believe? Will Warner Bros. really produce a live action movie of the groundbreaking Manga/Anime-Movie Akira originally written and directed by Katsuhiro Otomo? I always dreamed for it but had fear for it on the same time.

The movie poster for Akira

You know, Akira is one of my favorite sci-fi movies of all time. It was not only the first animated movie that literally showed me with a blast that an animated movie can go further than perfect looking princes or women singing songs. No, it was and still is one of the finest examples of animation I can think of. I still remember the first time I watched it. And my reaction to the first moment after the title “Akira” is shown above the nuclear crater. Believe it or not, but for a split second I really thought “Hey, this is really a live action movie with a short animation at the beginning, isn’t it?.” I even took a short look to the case just to be sure. It was that amazing for me. Those details, those realistic animations, those colors. And this mood and atmosphere. It was a mind blowing experience for me.

Still from the movie

Since the first rumors regarding a live action counterpart surfaced around 2002/2003 I was happy about it but in the same time full of anxiety. If done faithfully and right, I think that Akira (as a trilogy for example) could blow Matrix out of the water. It could become the defining sci-fi saga for this decade or the next. And it could go way further than the Matrix-Trilogy with its abysmal second and third part. Akira could become a milestone. Akira could become EPIC.

But there is also some amount of fear, because I also think that they could destroy this saga with the wink of a script page. Although they don’t have to start from scratch, since there is the great source material of not only a movie but also the lengthy manga. So if given to the right hands and realized with some enthusiasm this one should be a sure hit.

Trivia-wise, the ‘funny’ part will be the budget. I hope that they will release some estimates in the near future because those numbers should be really interesting regarding the past of this project. If you don’t know, as far as I remember Sony at one time started some sort of early preproduction for a live action Akira movie, but the bosses put a hold to it after figuring out the numbers went north the 300 Million Dollar mark. If Warner releases a movie we finally will at least know if the 300 was for one movie or a trilogy. Or something completely different…

Nevertheless it will be interesting to see what Warner will do with a project that big. At least you can say, that they are making progress quite…interestingly at the moment. If you think of what is at stake is seems to be a bold move to hire the Irish newbie director Ruairi Robinson, who created some short movies but no feature. Either this guy is a genius, created a new script draft for Warner that rocked everyone out of their socks or he showed some real enthusiasm pitching this movie. I really hope it is all three possibilities at the same time. And you know what? I am quite sure with the first point, because I saw his short movie “50 Percent Grey” years ago and if nothing else it had a really great atmosphere. And considering the really, really, really high budget I don’t think they would hire someone like Uwe Boll (sorry, Uwe, you were the first one to pop into my mind).

There are still many possibilities with which this movie could tank. But at least for now, I am happy and somehow thrilled with the decisions so far…

Boy, I really cant’ wait to hear more positive news from this hopefully epic project.



    Ha ha, just kdding; I do wonder what the casting will turn out like. Hopefully they won’t completely westernize the movie; while westernization is a big part of American culture (the act of taking other cultures and taking a crap all over them), I suer hope they don’t take it over the top and get, you know, Miley Cyrus to play Kei, or Brad Pitt to play Kaneda, or Jack Black to play… anyone.

    I also hope they stay true to the story and not ^@$*#%&(@%*Y%#! everything up due to budget issues; Oh, and about the actors, I really hope they at least try to get actors that fit the characters. I prey to god that Tetsuo is played by a rather younger teenager and Kaneda is played by a slightly older teenager; I want the general, or colonel, or whatever, to be in his middle ages, I want Kei to still have the same outfit (I would have completely lost track of her in the movie if it weren’t for her clothes), I want Kaori to be pretty without being perfect, and I want the green children to be played by real people and not just be freaking CG rejects from star wars: attack of the clones.

    Well, if hollywood happens to be listening to this comment, I hope they actually listen… or at least aren’t getting ideas from it!

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