Live-Action ‘Akira’ Movie Is Dead

Published 5 years ago by

akira Live Action Akira Movie Is Dead

About a year ago the official news broke (it had been rumored for ages before then) that a live-action American adaptation of the classic anime Akira was in the works. It was to be produced by Leonardo DiCaprio’s company Appian Way, along with Warner Bros. Pictures, and directed by newcomer to feature-length filmmaking Ruairi Robinson. Well, those who were excited at the prospect of seeing Akira come to live-action life will be disappointed with the latest news:

The live-action Akira movie is being reported as dead.

Bloody Disgusting reports that the live-action American Akira is, “dead as a doornail,” with Robinson leaving the project as the director only being a small part of the story. Unfortunately, we don’t have any other information as to the reasons why the project may have been canceled.

To be based more on the comic book (oops, I mean graphic novel) than the previous animated film, Akira was going to be split into two films, with Warner Bros. even looking to get the first movie out for the summer of this year. Well, looking at the summer movie release schedule, I don’t see a live-action Akira movie, so they obviously didn’t get going with the project as quickly as was first reported. The project would have seen the Oscar-nominated animated short film director Ruairi Robinson making his live-action, feature-length film debut.

If you’re not familiar, Akira takes place in the future and is about a secret military project that endangers neo-Tokyo when it turns a young biker gang member into a rampaging psionic psychopath that only two kids and a group of others with psionic abilities can stop.

There are probably just as many people who are in favor of a live-action Akira movie as are against it. Just some of the arguments against it (brought up on message boards and the like) are that it should only exist within the world of anime, and that a live-action film would be ridiculous. One of the reasons in favor of it is to see the fantastical storyline brought to real life, hopefully with some amazing CGI special effects to make it look as amazing as possible (there are many other points on each side of the argument of course, but those are just a couple of examples).

What do you think of the live-action Akira movie reportedly being canceled? Were you for or against the idea of a live-action adaptation?

Sources: Bloody Disgusting and First Showing

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  1. YES!! GREAT NEWS!!
    Hollywood’s current streak with the genre have spewed nothing but bitter trash… IMHO (HA!). Honestly with a synopsis like that there should never be a need to use the same name Akira for it. Several films have already taken the like-storyline and brought it to life, for better or for worse.

    Blood The Last Vampire would be one of those titles I wish to see nailed to the trash bin as well. Don’t get me wrong, I love the story, loved the anime TV series, loved the animated short, but if you’re going to use the same title and yet change the very core characters with what they’re fighting for or why they’re even there, then please o please don’t call it the same name as your so called “source”.

    Sorry guys, but even Cowboy Bebop I don’t see it becoming successful, Keanu Reeves being one of the MANY reasons.

  2. I’d still love to see a live-action adaptation, if the producers are willing to do it right and on a full scale.

    From the start I had some problems with this “original” production. Not only did they intend to do two films (a trilogy would be more fitting) but also did they believed they could rush out this epic world if not epic story in some mere months.

    Personally I believe that this story has some potential to be a true and intelligent blockbuster, so I hope they come to their senses and start over.

    On the other hand there’s the problem with the fact that this is based on a manga / anime and the other franchise called Dragonball recently bombed horribly. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that any producer at the moment is willing to risk his money on that one.

  3. Yosh!

    Very glad. Saw no reason for it to need to be remade and had no faith with those involved.
    Agree on Bebop too. Dreading that coming out.

  4. there are great stories out there, it’s just a matter of a director having the balls/wherewithal to stay true enough to the original story and let the story do the work. Akira is a great story, the original anime captured a truly alien and disorienting future with both it’s images and the music that added to the original manga.

    Others also exist out there that would make for some truly interesting movie making, the Cowboy Bebop sessions still stand out to me as something that could be sone with Live actors, but as always, you need the right ones, i.e. sans Keanu Reeves tyvm, hello John Cusack.

    The most difficult part is that in most cases Hollywood still treats this stuff as mostly kids stories, and while that genre exists, it’s hardly the only material out there.

  5. This is one of the few anime to live-action movies that I thought could work. Obviously the studio saw what happened with Speed Racer and Dragonball and decided not to take the chance.

  6. GREAT NEWS!!!!!

  7. You know as stupid it may sound….why can’t they just adabt the Manga/Anime 1 to 1 into the Live Action Film. Stop with the creative nonsense and just make a pure copy with mindblowing cgi. Isn’t it exactly that, waht fans of the franchises are lookin for?
    Why is it so hard to use the novels as basis for their Storyboards?

    As for Aktia…same thing, they got the “perfect” Storyboards already in the Novel. Give us Actors who fit in the role of the characters and get going. Just stop with impossible stuff like Dragonball. As soon as you change stuff…even if you have to do it, fans will hate you forever.

    Im honestly looking forward to Battle Angel. Cameron is hopefully with me here!!

  8. Oh and about Bebop….Well it is with almost all the Scifi Japano Stuff. You need someone who can bring those Worlds onto Screen and it will work. Look at 5th Element. The CGI still totaly works for me and the World looks realistic even after so many Years. You don’t need an Avatar or Transformers 2 Budget to make those Movies work…but it surly helps ;)

    Oh and Bebop Crew for me = Ryan Reynolds, Mickey Rourke, some Kid with strange gender (Jaden Smith?) and a funny Dog (can’t be that to use no cgi on that one).

  9. Akira was going to end up flopping anyway. Just like “Speed Racer” and “Dragonball Evolution” (both films based on graphic novels).

    Now if only we can stop Cowboy Bebop, Death Note, and Full Metal Panic! from being turned into live-action films.

  10. They have already done a live action Death Note, at least the Japanese have. It is mixed, but I quite liked it. The kid playing L was spot on, and the storyline was kept tighter. They did it all in two movies, with a slightly different ending that was pretty good – slight change but kept the essence of it.

  11. Speed Racer was one of my favorite films last year, how dare you !!!!!!!!!!!
    Jk,,, ;-)
    It was ahead of its time,,, sigh.

    This is prob for the best I never really liked Akira.
    It would have been neat to see the ending though where that dude starts to grow into that hidous obamanation.

  12. Good bye and good riddance.

  13. Frankly, I’m relieved mainly because I found the anime version of Akira highly overrated. One of those films where I had heard so much hype before seeing the film that it didn’t have a chance of living up to expectations.

  14. Hooray!!!!

    Akira is hands down,above and beyond the greatest story that I’ve every read,and Americanizing it into a Leonardo DiCaprio vehicle is not a very good idea to me.

    I’m so happy that about this news that I could punch a clown.

    Now if only someone would wise up an put a halt to the Oldboy remake.

  15. I agree, Akira is kinda overrated. As a anime and manga (japanese comic books) fan i understand the love for “Akira” but it’s been given too much credit for an anime film. It’s like the american audience don’t know any other anime (or manga)besides “Akira”. People should give other animes and mangas a try.

  16. How bout a Kikieda live action Hollywood movie?

    I loved that series as a kid.

  17. I thought “Kikaider” was already in live-action?

  18. There’s some anime “Kikaider” out there Mikey. Thanks for the spell check on that… :-)
    I would totally buy that show on dvd if it was avaible.
    ^
    Sure would love to see a big American adaptation of that character. That is if they did a good job of it.

  19. The Wachowski bro’s
    would do a kick ass Kikaider movie,,,

  20. Live Akira? It should have happened. Good on Ruauri for having a crack at it. Purely from a selfish standpoint this means the material is safe for when I make it. Heh heh!

  21. Good.

  22. Akira had some amazing effects but I got kind of bored. I always thought a live-action Ninja Scroll would be great. But they have to get the right people and no Michael Bay comic crap; much of anime is not for kids.

  23. While I would have loved to have another treatment of Akira, I can’t help but feel that it would have distracted from the glory of the original, and I don’t mean that damned updated version with McGruff the Crime Dog…

    By the way, I don’t have the link (because I’m at work and YouTube is blocked) but the same guy that did “Saturday Morning Watchmen” that was linked here at SR also did a parody of an “American” Akira. Funny as hell, painful to watch, but probably prophetic.

  24. I think this is the video that Tim is talking about: http://themovieblog.com/2008/11/akira-live-action-2011-hollywood-style

  25. Thank GOD

    I love the anime movie – absolute work of art

    Anything they did live action would never have lived up

    ever

    I am a happy camper today :-)

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  27. I think it was a great idea but for there to be other movies along the storylines of the Akira makes is a sore start but I would still love too see a live action Akira movie. Are the books like the anime movie?