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Wanna See Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Chris Evans In ‘Akira’ Concept Art?!

All art courtesy of Ruairí Robinson, Charlie Wen and Warner Bros.

Getting a live-action adaptation of Akira off the ground has been like World War III for Warner Bros.

It’s publicly been in development since 2002 and has seen a wide array of directors attached (the latest rumor is that Warner Bros. wants Fast & Furious and Star Trek Beyond‘s Justin Lin at the helm).

But among the first was Ruairí Robinson, who is one of my favorite filmmakers. Robinson, who directed the Child’s Play-esque “Blinky,” about a robot that goes psycho, had been in deep development before the project was turned back over to the studio (who then hired Albert and Allen Hughes; see their unused storyboards here).

The live-action version would be set in New Manhattan and follow the leader of a biker gang who must save his friend, Tetsuo, discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments.

While I just came across this treasure trove, Robinson apparently had shared incredible concept art back in 2014.

The art imagines Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tetsuo (“Travis”), with Captain America‘s Chris Evans as Kaneda, while also diving into what Neo-New York would look like before and after the apocalypse.

Even though Chronicle did up a similar story phenomenally, I’ve been dying to see Akira realized. It’s crazy to think this has been in development longer than us horror fans were waiting for Freddy vs Jason!

Robinson would have been the perfect choice, as would the studio’s other inspired choices like, yup, The Shallows‘ Jaume Collet-Serra.

Anyways, here’s a look at some of the cooler pieces of concept art, while there’s a ton more, with storyboards(!) at Robinson’s official website.















  • That bottom picture is fantastic

  • Jesse Hammer

    Akira is about teenagers. Those guys; decidedly not teenagers.

    • PsychoMantis18

      Nah, but it big and fast furious guy maybe, and explosions, and cool hair, and it big…

  • Anthony Thompson

    no f**k that I want Japanese actors for this movie

  • The Code

    Bottom pic is mesmerizing. All the pics really

  • johnchiu

    meh – all this art is just like the anime but slightly better rendered – its not cinematic or inspiring to say the least – I’m glad this director didn’t get a shot at Akira because Last Days on Mars was woeful – they should just leave this anime alone

  • Jonathan Larsson

    No. Just No. It’s supposed to have teenagers, japanese teenagers.

    • PsychoMantis18


      …You must hate the new Ghostbusters too –

      • Jonathan Larsson

        I consider faithful adaptations as opposed to americanizations less racist and more fair.

        And I don’t hate the new Ghostbusters, considering I haven’t seen it yet. I just have little to no faith in in it, not because they changed to a female cast, but because it looked awfully non-funny and because the ghosts look more like they belong in a Casper movie.

      • Leftpin

        I legit coughed on my dinner with laughter. Thanks for the laugh!

        • PsychoMantis18


      • TN P


        Sure you can talk like that all you want, because you’re White and White people get White privilege. They get ALL the film/tv (and comics) roles in the world. While Asian Americans are LACKING roles.

        If the roles were reversed, you’d be complaining about the same thing, unless you are that ignorant enough to not realize what’s going on.

        • PsychoMantis18

          Are you trying to stir because that was an extremely stupid post.

          As always – i’ll bite

          1. How do you know that i’m white?
          2. Don’t bring your bull-shit politics into our lovely world of film.
          3. ‘They get ALL the film/tv roles in the world’ – nup, shut-up – this is absolute bull-shit.
          4. I’m saying I want Japanese teens and not American adults.
          5. ‘And if the roles were reversed’ – no, again – shut-up – you’re speculating on my attitudes based on nothing but your own ignorance and arrogance.
          6. Clearly it’s you that has no fucking idea what’s going on – if you want to push for more minorities in film start by supporting original properties that showcase their talents; bastardising established properties is not the answer.

    • Brony Rebellion X

      Yeah, and we have a main character of Episode 7 of Star Wars who’s African American, which happens to piss some people off of that ridiculous fiasco. Don’t tell me “double standards isn’t the problem”. That may not be, but political correctness is a total bitch on wheels.

      • Jonathan Larsson

        … The fuck are you talking about?

  • La Molcajete

    So tired of Chris Evans

  • PsychoMantis18


    Recon good o’l DiCap would’ve done a better job.

  • Redsam6

    Both those guys can act but they are wrong for the roles.

  • skratchy

    Nothing like 30 year old men playing teenagers.

    • Logic First

      Nothing like whites playing asians

  • Janice Rodriguez

    There’s one thing I never could understand with some ppl about Japanese anime turned into live-action movies. Why do ppl bug out about “white” actors playing the parts when pretty much 95% of anime characters are drawn as Caucasians?! Yes they’re in Japanese (most are dubbed in English later) and made in Japan but ask any of the artists they will say yes they’re drawn as Caucasian bc of how different the features are. They’re not oblivious to this, yet some ppl here flip out over hiring white actors. Same thing when Scarlett Johansson was hired for Ghost in the Shell live-action film. Though I agree they should’ve gotten younger actors, even though the ones chosen are pretty good.

    • RiesenRatte

      I agree. It’s not like any human being comes close to the look of an Anime Character, so why should you cast anything other than the trusted actors so many people know and love. I mean, Asian people don’t really look more similar.

    • frgfdfg

      johansen sucking ass at acting is why i flipped out.

      • Janice Rodriguez

        We can agree on that but she fits the look they’re going for I suppose.

    • TN P

      Janice, Actually those characters were drawn not really to look white. Sure they makes their eyes look big, but that was just what they learned from Walt Disney himself. They realized that by drawing characters with big eyes, you’d be able to see their emotions/expressions more.

      Although some characters may have blonde hair, Japanese people love to dye their hair to. It’s a cultural thing. Now having said that, there are SOME White characters in Anime, but that is to include variety. But for the most part it usually is Japanese characters. After all, who’d rather draw a bunch of White characters and have it represent your culture/country??? Certainly NOT the U.S. for Asian Americans.

      • Janice Rodriguez

        I’d beg to differ only bc while in Japan I made the comment to an employee @ Den Den Town, a top anime store in Osaka. He said in the beginning anime were drawn to look more “Japanese” but gradually changed to appeal to a wider audience, hence everyone west of Japan. That while many artist won’t admit it that yes they changed the look so they appeared “white” along with the bigger breasts, curvier bodies for females, & taller, broader men. The names of many characters are Japanese for obvious reasons but many such as Fairy Tale use Anglo-Latin-Greek names as well. Some may say one thing, others may say what this gentleman told me. I understand the hair thing hence Harajuku Town 🙂

      • The ehnicity depends on the comic, FMA, white, AOT, white, Berserk, white (98%), Hellsing, white. Then go to school comedies, like all Japanese.

  • RiesenRatte

    Not knowing the source. This looks really cool

  • Romantic Placebo


  • Koolz

    I like the concept art and if that’s who they are putting there fine…but…but…but…why the hell are you not doing japanese teenagers in say a made up Neo Tokyo.

    New York. well I guess that works, then why aren’t you using punk teenagers in a made up Neo New York?

    Still I like the what I see here for your focus on the film. To bad it didn’t happen.
    Give it to Japan and let them create something.

  • Yakushiji Tenzen

    some movies/manga should not be turned into live-action.

  • aNYagenda


    Thats not good.

  • monkey god

    I’ve already seen the Hollywood remake of this movie. I think it was called “Chronicle”.

  • Captain Central America

    Seems like the artist really likes Blade Runner.

  • Dude these biker-gang actors need to be way younger. Theyy’re supposed to be around 16-20 years old.

  • BlupoUNC

    This movie COULDDDD be amazing if they could stick to the story and make it actually look like the concept art… BUT WHITE-WASHING IT AND SETTING JGL AND EVANS AS TETSUO AND KANEDA AND MOVING IT TO NYC?!?!??! NO… JUST NO. NO. It’s a F’N classic… HONOR IT.

  • Josh Evans

    Make it stop.

  • I Am Colossus

    Yea i don’t know a single fan of the original that wants to see this happen

    • FireMadeFlesh II

      You, my friend, get an upvote for the comment. Wish I could give another for that Boogeyman default.

  • Logic First

    Good thing racism against asians is totally ok

    • Eyes OnPies

      So much for Logic First!

    • TN P

      True, but if it were Blacks, all those protesters jump into the BandWagon, hahaha.
      What a bunch of Hypocrites! The sad part is that they don’t realize how much of a hypocrite they are. Total stupidity.

  • jurgmandr

    As much as I like JGL and Chris Evans, if they’re going to whitewash the story why even use the japanese names then? I think Ill just go watch the original movie again and forget that this is still being made.

  • Brony Rebellion X

    Fucking A, man!

  • FireMadeFlesh II

    It always amazes me just how determined Hollywood is to make these shitty reboots & remakes

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