With Non-Stop in theaters February 28, director Jaume Collet-Serra spoke with Comingsoon about the forthcoming Akira adaptation, which has been in development hell for nearly a decade. While Collet-Serra is still attached to direct for Warner Bros., it’s far from a sure thing. Still, he’s developing his vision, which includes improving the character dynamics. In this interview, he blasts the original manga, rightfully so. It doesn’t mean that the original is bad, it just means that there’s room for improvement. Even being a huge Akira fan myself, I can’t argue with him…
“You have to be respectful of the source material,” says Collet-Serra before implying that it will be his own vision. “Otomo adapted his own work from a manga into an anime and both things are completely different and genius. The only way to do a live version of “Akira” is to take the spirit and adapt it. It will be as different as the anime was from the manga.
“I hope that I can bring strong characters,” he adds, speaking on developing better protags. “In the original source material, I don’t think the main characters are the protagonists. What I’m hoping is to bring characters.
“Nobody’s interesting [in the originals]. Tetsuo’s interesting because weird sh*t happens to him, and Kaneda is so two-dimensional. That’s part of the Japanese culture, they never have strong characters. They’re used as a way to move the other philosophy forward.”
The last reported, Garrett Hedlund was in talks for the adaptation set in New Manhattan, where the the leader of a biker gang must save his friend, who is discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities from government medical experiments.