Katsuhiro Otomo’s AKIRA is regarded as one of the most iconic Manga/Anime’s of all time, it was one of the first comic books or animations that got many non-Japanese fans in to phenomena. For the past few years the title has been subject to speculation, that a Hollywood remake was on the cards. In 2010 that became true when Warner Bros picked up the rights. In typical Hollywood style (or as I call it “Idiots guide to destroying the reputation of fantastic movie by making a poor remake”), the biker gangs of Akira’s Neo-Tokyo (made up of mostly disillusioned youths), were to be replaced by older actors, such as Ryan Gosling, James Franco and Brad Pitt (all said no to playing the lead role of Kaneda) and now we can add Keanu Reeves to that ever increasing list.
Warner Bros & Appian Way (Leonardo Di Caprio’s production company) were both keen for Keanu to play the lead role but he has declined the offer. Warner Bros also announced that they have closed down the pre-visualisation department, letting go to staff who where working on the flick…
“Production on Akira has not halted or been shut down, as the film has not yet been greenlit and is still very much in the development stage. The exploratory process is crucial to a project of this magnitude, and we will continue to sculpt our approach to making the best possible film.”
Also in the new version Neo Tokyo is replaced by Neo Manhattan, the whole project seems to be in turmoil and confusion as are the fans of the book& film as Warner Bros seem to be destroying the origins and if you know the story this is essentially a 18 rated animation where the violence been a essential part of the story and Warner Bros plan to make the movie into 2 parts with a 12A rating!
Albert and Allen Hughes have been linked to direct this movie for a long time and with so many set backs the 2012 release date looks highly unlikely, but will we even see this movie every been made? On the gossip of the past 12 month and The Hughes Brothers planning to direct I hope this never sees the light.