‘Akira’ To Be PG-13; No Sequel for The Hughes Brothers

Published 5 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:29 pm,

akira imagen Akira To Be PG 13; No Sequel for The Hughes Brothers

Director Albert Hughes (one half of writing/directing duo The Hughes Brothers) recently called into The Kevin and Josh Movie Show and talked a bit about his latest project, an adaptation of Akira, one the most celebrated Japanese mangas of all time, and probably the most lauded and famous anime feature film of my generation.

Albert Hughes dropped several tidbits of information, the most noteworthy being that Warner Bros. is mandating that the picture be PG-13, and that he isn’t big on sequels – interesting words, since Akira might be a two-part movie.

Let’s discuss the PG-13 rating first: anyone who has seen the Akira anime or read the manga knows just how ridiculous the notion of an Akira movie being PG-13 is.

This is the story of a violent teen biker gang in a dystopian future controlled by a fascist government, with domestic terrorists (or “freedom fighters”) blowing stuff up and shooting people left and right, religious zealots beating each other down in the streets, and government hit squads executing people at leisure. And this is all before one of the biker teens gets psychic powers and starts making explode a la Dr. Manhattan in Watchmen.

So how is any of that PG-13?

akira l Akira To Be PG 13; No Sequel for The Hughes Brothers

"I'll make you explode with my mind in a PG-13 way..."

On the other hand, a movie about the socio-political-economic unraveling of a futuristic dystopia, combined with a sci-fi story about psychic powers gone awry, is not exactly an easy sell as far as movies go. You gotta figure that the 18-30 boys club is the primary audience that will be turning out for this film, but securing the teenage crowd with the lowered rating is probably a good bit of insurance. Financing a movie like this is not going to be cheap.

As for Albert Hughes’ other statement about sequels – I don’t think a two-part movie qualifies as a sequel, so I would expect The Hughes Brothers would complete the entire project before jumping out of the director’s chair(s). If they only helmed the first part, that would be extremely weird. As it stands, I’m beginning to wonder if the studio’s mandates haven’t already killed the Brothers’ enthusiam for the project.

The Hughes Brothers

Listen to the audio interview from The Kevin and Josh Movie Show and determine for yourself how enthused (or not) Albert Hughes sounds. Personally, I’ve always been wary of an Americanized live-action version of Akira. The subject matter, the rich texture and visuals of the anime – even the title “Akira” – convey some distinctly Japanese influences and themes that, if stripped out of an American version, would leave Akira a vapid and hollow shells of itself. But that’s just me.

What do you guys think about a PG-13 Akira? Was it the right move for The Hughes Brothers to direct, or should someone else have taken the directors chair. Will this film make it to the theater? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter (@screenrant).

Sources: The Kevin and Josh Movie Show via FSR

TAGS: Akira
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  1. A PG-13 Akira is a total load of crap. I’ve seen the original and while it wasn’t the stuff you’d see on Saturday morning, I liked it a lot. It was loud, scary, fast-paced, and it had so many things happening that I almost couldn’t follow it. At the very least, Hollywood needs to try being faithful to the source material instead of reworking it to fit whatever profiteering scheme they’ve got locked in their heads. We need to show some respect for the people who had such a brilliant vision of a dystopian future. Thank you for listening.

  2. A PG-13 Akira is dead out of the gate. No chance in hell. Akira is so great all these years later because of it’s uncompromising attitude and depiction of a society so thoroughly gone to hell. Raping of an underaged girl, religious violence, corporate/political violence, class warfare, degeneration of education and human exploitation are just some of the themes explored in this very raw movie. If you remove that, you’ve removed the whole point of the movie. It’s like Jurassic Park without the dinosaurs.