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Warner Bros. Finally Gets Hot Director for ‘Akira’!

Warner Bros. Finally Gets Hot Director for ‘Akira’!

It’s been a wild ride for Warner Bros. Pictures’ adaptation of Akira, which has had more than a handful of directors and actors attached over the years. Thankfully, it may all be worth the wait.

One of the most exciting trailers I’ve seen this year is for Thor: Ragnarok, directed by Taika Waititi. The footage is utterly stunning, promising that Waititi has brought the ever-so-dull Thor franchise to life. Now, he may do the same for Akira.

Warner Bros. is negotiating with Waititi, says Deadline, the New Zealand-born director who also is behind one of the funniest horror films in the past decade, What We Do in the Shadows.

Akira is a live-action version of anime artist Katsuhiro Otomo’s 6-volume graphic novel. The story takes place in the rebuilt New Manhattan where a leader of a biker gang saves his friend from a medical experiment.

Mad Chance’s Lazar is producing with Appian Way’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson. The picture has been a big priority since Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures acquired it for 7-figures from manga publisher Kodansha. The intention has always been to make 2 films, each covering 3 books in the series. Akira was first adapted for the screen in 1988.

The picture got close several times. Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and Book of Eli scribe Gary Whitta wrote a script which originally had Ruairi Robinson aboard to direct. The Hughes Brothers and Jaume Collet-Serra were among the filmmakers who sparked to it. It got closest to a start date several years ago, until it closed the Vancouver production office, the studio let lapse test options deals it had with Dane DeHaan and Michael Pitt,. who had been competing for the lead role of Tetsuo, and were going to star alongside Garrett Hedlund, Kristin Stewart, and potentially Ken Watanabe and Helena Bonham Carter.

It all just makes you want to scream.



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COMMENTS

48 Comments
  • SpaceManSpliffz .

    hope this comes to be

    • MeeGhoulz

      Spiff is great!

  • Dirty Frank

    Can’t help but think that even with Waititi at the helm, this is still a bad idea.

  • Mightygil

    guess I’m alone when I say I thought the first two Thor were some of the best superhero films I’ve seen and that the new one looks pretty bad

    • Cure4Humanity

      Probably not alone, but in the minority for sure. I really enjoyed the first Thor film. The second though I really disliked. It’s only redeeming factor imo was the banter between Thor and Loki.

      • Mightygil

        fair enough. I probably liked the second one more, though maybe my expectations were low and I was shocked I enjoyed something with “dark elves” in it

    • Hugh Manatey

      Thor 1 was pretty good, Thor 2 was utter garbage. Can only go up at this point.

  • Rohan

    Pfft, who cares about who is playing tetsuo. I wanna know who’s playing the coolest of the cool, my main man kaneda!

    • Geno1987

      My personal pick for Kaneda and Tetsuo would be Tom Holland and Bill Skarsgard.

    • Doctor Dementor

      Kaneda will be a woman or a klingon because Hollywood XD

  • Those first two thor movies were dreadful. Like awful. This one looks quite promising! (Love me some Hulk, especially Talking Hulk!)

  • Grimphantom

    Warner Bros, should look thru this before starting because so far, Anime turned into american live action movies so far hasn’t been that great especially this year with Ghost in the Shell and Death Note.

    • Doctor Dementor

      just wait for the french live action adaptation of City hunter……after Death note i think it will kill me this time XD

      • Grimphantom

        Really? Still can’t beat the Jackie Chan version! He was dress as Chun-Li! Doubt the french version will beat that! =P

        • Doctor Dementor

          i still have the VHS XD

          • MeeGhoulz

            You sure was not bothered by good old Jackie playing the lead now, were you? Not being japanese I understand why some would disapprove not casting a japanese actor… Chan is chinese, you know? Totally different people, culture, languages… or, don’t tell me for you they all look the same!?!

  • Geno1987

    I bet you Kaneda will be a woman and Tetsuo will be a black guy in the movie, and will be love interests…just because that’s what Hollywood likes to do when adapting shit.

    • MeeGhoulz

      Not that there would be anything wrong with that… If the movies didn’t end up sucking so bad.

      • Doctor Dementor

        anything wrong with that ? hum it depends………well i wanted Black panther to be played by a white german….but i don’t know why nobody want it? Johny storm was an afro american so why they refuse a german for Black panther…………i certainly miss something XD

        • MeeGhoulz

          If germans bought the rights to do a Black Panther movie in Germany and wanted to cast a german lead that was white ,why not? It’s a superhero, the uniform makes the character ,the origin is just an excuse. Ever watched those bogus 70s indian pre Bollywood super hero movies? Why Superman can’t be Hindu? Do you believe trade market character have really a political weight far more relevant than the actual black panther movement? It’s just entertainment industry trying to squeeze some bucks with a political background, it was so when he was created … and I’m a african brazilian of german descendance ,surname Lengruber (Leimgruber originally). Hollywood adapts whatever they buy the rights to sell to their target demographics, even Black Panther(TM) movie. Why the lead was not african just some of the supporting cast? They don’t really care!

          • Doctor Dementor

            yep that’s what bother me the fact that they don’t really care about respecting the characters in adaptations when it’s a question of money XD i mean i understand about not respecting the story but there is NO absolutely NO excuse to not respect the character personality and style like the classic if the character have red hair in the comics you get a blonde hair in the movie or the ”Forced” diversity….. lets create new characters without changing the old ones ,is that so difficult?

          • MeeGhoulz

            Or worse, they finally cast an actor that looks and even acts like the character but the weak writing don’t allow him to really BE the character … Talking about the Constantine series fiasco. And I can’t watch Walking Dead to save my life (comics or gtfo) but why Negan can’t shave and use the grease hairdo!?!

      • Geno1987

        If the characters aren’t black or females, don’t recast them that way. It’s a simple rule Hollywood is too chicken shit to follow because of the SJW crowds who want everyone to be black, female, gay, and trans at the same time.

        • MeeGhoulz

          Yeah, but when it comes to mangá/anime versions they’re not live actions of the originals, they often present the base story on a western setting. So, they use this liberty as a way of casting whoever they think will attract more attention to the movie. They are not correcting a mistake that left said “minorities” out of their productions for decades, they are most of the time, purposely profiting from the attention brought by social media outrage. Funny thing is, they don’t dare doing this to most protagonists, cuz in western media in general they are “white”. I sure as hell don’t feel flattered when they find a way to alter a well known character of whatever origin to “black”, but enjoy seeing black leads in good movies since they are not just there to try and falsely advocate some illusion of social justice. Like, how cool was “Get Out”!

  • Hey! Thor movies are cool!

  • Huck42

    It’ll never be better then the anime. Just like Ghost in the Shell.

    And not because of white-washing, although that is a factor…Honestly, I’d be 100% OK with white washing IF the script/story is actually good. It worked for The Ring.

    • Papa_spoosh

      The ring isn’t a case of white washing… We remake movies from other countries just as other countries remake American movies and when you do that you adapt the characters and settings. Does that mean the character have to be white? Of course not, but is doesn’t mean they can’t either. White washing is what they tried to do with the new hell boy

    • MeeGhoulz

      I gotta admit the WW term is used a little too often, if it was set in Japan (as GitS or theGrudge with Buffy) yeah, I agree, but when it’s not a literal translation, but a version set in another country, western for that matter, the multiethnic cast is alright, like in Death Note. What make these movies bad is the lack of any real intention of having anything to do with the essence of the stories. They just want to use a well known name as a logo to attract as much people as possible, not fans of the original…

    • Bart Crowe

      The thing is live action versions of anime are all terrible even in Japan. It doesn’t matter who you cast as it all sucks if you’re adapting an anime into a live action movie.

      • MeeGhoulz

        I heard good things about the Parasyte live action, gotta check it out yet…

        • Bart Crowe

          I hope it’s good too because it gives me hope for the live action Full Metal Alchemist movie.

          • MeeGhoulz

            I only liked the FMA tv version, brotherhood was what fans of the manga wanted but it was so… typicaly anime. The tv version succeed in bringing a more coherent story ,less childish humor and Lust has a larger participation.

          • Bart Crowe

            Brotherhood is okay but yeah that first series is much better. Definitely felt more grounded and less reliant on those anime tropes I hate so much.

  • Tien Tran

    we all said :”please dont f*** this up”. But who know it seem like Hollywood’s traditional with manga or anime live action

  • Bart Crowe

    How long has this live action Akira movie been in the works? Who is it for anyway? Fans of Akira don’t want an Americanized live action version. People who go see movies in general don’t want live action anime given the “success” of Ghost in the Shell.

  • Jada Maes

    You lost me at “New Manhattan.” Fear of the Bomb and Japanese style and culture are the fucking HEART of Akira. Oldboy and Ghost In the Shell should be enough of white people playing Asians.

    • MeeGhoulz

      There is an American Oldboy!?! Fuck, how glad am I to not follow Hollywood productions at all…

      • Jada Maes

        Directed by Spike Lee and starring Josh Brolin. Terrible, TERRIBLE remake.

        • MeeGhoulz

          All the vengeance trilogy in which OldBoy was included were great, good to know they didn’t get to murder the other two… but ,really, this american remake thing is embarassing, I remember watching ‘The Vanishing’ a german/french movie and commenting with a friend how good it was, so he says to me : ‘that’s the exact plot for a Sandra Bullock movie I just saw! Except the american version have the obligatory happy ending…’

          • Jada Maes

            1) They’ve been kicking a Lady Vengeance remake around for years, theoretically starring Charlize Theron. Much as I love her… NO.
            2) Jeff Bridges, as per usual, was the only good part of that remake. Happy ending about premature burial? Gimme a break.

          • MeeGhoulz

            So you watched the original too? That movie gimme the creeps! Human aspect of horror is always more disturbing for me… Charlize just got that movie from John Wick’s director or producers, hope she will keep away from a LV remake. If ell done, though, she’s a hell of an actress, but I find this Hollywood remakes so unnecessary. Of course it’s ncesary fo the industry, they sem to be al ot of fresh ideas…

          • Jada Maes

            Oh yeah, I love the whole Vengeance Trilogy 🙂 Park Chan Wook is a phenomenal director. He makes humans so much scarier than monsters…. Yes, more original thought pleez

          • MeeGhoulz

            They are great movies, but I was actually wondering if you also watched ‘The Vanishing’, with the buried alive story that was copied by Hollywood. So Jeff Bridges was the “villain”…?

          • Jada Maes

            Yeah, and Kiefer Sutherland is the protagonist. They give Kiefer an unnecessary girlfriend so she can be his deux ex machina.

  • vincent

    The thing is live action versions of anime are all terrible even in Japan. It doesn’t matter who you cast as it all sucks if you’re adapting an anime into a live action movie.

    • Doctor Dementor

      it depends Kenshin,kiseiju no parasite,deah note(2005),assassination classroom,lady snowblood and some other………..all good

      • MeeGhoulz

        And to mention a Japanese videogame adaptation “OneeChambara” was pretty cool…

  • No Nose Nosferatu

    This movie is gonna tank so fucking hard.

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