Akira is a live action adaptation of the legendary Anime of the same name. The story follows a few friends who are in a bike gang. They end up mixed up in a shady government experiment.
It’s been a while since I saw Akira, and I don’t remember all the plot details, but the general gist is that Tokyo (in the original, it’ll be Manhattan in the new version) was destroyed about 30 years before the story takes place by a young boy with psychic abilities.
Kaneda, the leader of a biker gang, tries to do his best by his people, but one day his buddy Tetsuo crashes his bike into a little psychic kid. After being hospitalized, the government discovers that Tetsuo also has psychic abilities, and shit gets crazy.
It seems that the boy who destroyed the city 30 years earlier, Akira, has simply been in cryogenic storage the whole time, and the whole conspiracy thing gets unraveled and it becomes a huge action thing with insane powers n’ such. It was pretty cool.
Akira has been kicked around for a live action version for years, with a number of different directors and stars attached at one time or another. Leonardo DiCaprio, who is still producing, was at one time thought to play Kaneda, although it appears that Garrett Hedlund is now cast for the part.
Jaume Collet-Serra is in the director’s chair now, and the film seems to be gaining some momentum. Collet-Serra has directed some mid-level horror films like Orphan and House of Wax (the remake), but he just recently made Unknown, which was a bit of a Taken sequel with The Bourne Identity thrown in, as Liam Neeson kicked some bootay. He might do a decent job.
No trailer for the new film, but here’s one for the original.
Akira Release Date
TBA, probably not till 2013.
Who’s In It?
Kristen Stewart … Kei (rumored)
Helena Bonham Carter … Lady Miyako (rumored)
Garrett Hedlund … Kaneda
Ken Watanabe … The Colonel
What’s Good About It?
Akira is a legendary anime, and a live action film with today’s CGI technology could be unbelievably good. I’d rather see the Wachowskis or someone with a proven action and visual flare make the film, but Collet-Serra might be okay.
What’s Bad About It?
As Akira is a classic, a remake might just be terrible, and totally miss the point of the original, with too much emphasis on the action and how things look, and not enough focus on the story. The original really kicked ass. Anything short of that is going to be a letdown.
Our Clever Prediction
I’d bet that Akira is going to get a decent budget, and if the trailers have enough flash I’m guessing that people will be curious enough to give it a shot. No doubt it’ll be in 3D, which should be just FANTASTIC, so here’s hoping we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot by watching it.
I like Garrett Hedlund too, so I hope he’s good. And please, Hollywood, don’t cast Kristen Stewart. Please.