A plot synopsis has surfaced for the upcoming live-action Akira and it's very different from the plot of original manga and anime on which the movie is based. Both the original Akira manga as well as the 1988 anime adaptation are set in a futuristic, cyberpunk Neo-Tokyo and follow Shōtarō Kaneda as he tries to rescue his childhood friend, Tetsuo Shima, from a secret government project.
Warner Bros.' live-action Akira film is finally entering into production after being in development for a little over a decade. The project was passed between a slew of directors, including George Miller, Justin Lin, and Jordan Peele. It eventually found new life in 2017 when Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi signed on to helm the film. Recently, Warner Bros. and Leonardo DiCaprio, whose production company Appian Way is set to produce the upcoming film, received an $18 million tax incentive to film Akira in California. Both companies are committed to seeing the project through, as is Waititi, which are good signs that this time a live-action Akira is actually happening.
This synopsis for Akira comes from Production Weekly (via CBR), a company that provides professionals in the industry with a comprehensive breakdown of upcoming projects in film and television. They shared the announcement on Instagram and it is chock-full of details regarding Akira's characters and setting. Check out the full synopsis for the live-action Akira film below:
"When a young man’s telekinesis is discovered by the military, he is taken in to be turned into a super weapon and his brother must race to save him before Manhattan is destroyed by his powers. Kaneda is a bar owner in Neo-Manhattan who is stunned when his brother Tetsuo is abducted by Government agents lead by the Colonel. Desperate to get his brother back, Kaneda agrees to join Ky Reed and her underground movement who are intent on revealing to the world what truly happened to New York City 30 years ago when it was destroyed. Kaneda believes their theories to be ludicrous, but after facing his brother again is shocked when he displays telekinetic powers. Ky believes Tetsuo is headed to release a young boy. Akira, who has taken control of Tetsuo’s mind, Kaneda clashes with the Colonel’s troops on his way to stop Tetsuo from releasing Akira, but arrives too late. Akira soon emerges from his prison courtesy of Tetsuo as Kaneda races to save his brother before Akira once again destroys Manhattan island as he did thirty years ago."
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Production Weekly – Issue 1138 – Thursday, April 4, 2019 / 161 Listings – 32 Pages https://buff.ly/2TUwX0P⠀ ⠀ 24 HOURS IN JUNE • THE ADVENTURES OF A.R.I. THE ROBOT PET • AFTER LIFE 02 • AKIRA • ALICE + FREDA FOREVER • ALIEN NATION • ALL GONE WRONG • AMÉLIE & COMPANY 04 • AMERICAN DREAMER • AMERICAN SOUL 02 • ANY PERSON LIVING OR DEAD • THE APPRENTICE AND THE CURSE OF THE FANG MADONNA • ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK? • AUDREY PARK • BAD MOMS’ MOMS • BARB & STAR GO TO VISTA DEL MAR • BARBECUE FOR TWO • BEAUTIFUL RUINS • BELLA • BLACK FLIES • BLACK WIDOW (w/t BLUE BAYOU) • BOOMERANG 02 • THE BOYS 02 • BROOKLYN 45 • BURIED BODIES • THE BURN • CAN I BE HONEST • CAPTAIN INFINITY • THE CHILDREN • CHRISTMAS ON THE SQUARE • CINEMA OF SLEEP • CODA (aka THE BELIER FAMILY) • THE CONJURING 3 • CORONER 02 • CRIME AFTER CRIME • CUTMAN • DANCING STALLION • A DEADLY LEGEND • DEATH OF A LADIES’ MAN • DESERT GUESTS (aka THE GEOLOGIST) • DOUBLE TAKE • THE DROWNED DETECTIVE • DUMMY • DWELLER • EMILY IN PARIS • THE ESTATE • THE ETERNALS • EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE • EVERYTHING'S GONNA BE OKAY • FAST & FURIOUS 9 (aka FAST 9) • FILM FEST • FINDING BAPU • FIVE CARDS FOR CHRISTMAS • THE FIVE POINTS HUSTLE • FOUR DADS • FRANKIE DRAKE 03 • FREE GUY • FRIENDS-IN-LAW • FROM RICHES (aka BROKE) • FRUIT LOOPS • GENIUSES • GENTEFIED • GHOSTBUSTERS (w/t RUST CITY) • GINNY & GEORGIA • THE GOOD PLACE 04 • GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE • HELPLESS • HILLBILLY ELEGY • HUNGRY SAINTS • HUNGRY SAINTS • I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE • INDIA SWEETS AND SPICES (aka RUBY HILL) • INFINITE (aka THE REINCARNATIONIST PAPERS) • INTELLIGENCE • IRRESISTIBLE • JINGLE JANGLE • JL FAMILY RANCH 2 • JOURNAL FOR JORDAN • JUPITER’S LEGACY (w/t ZEUS) • KEYHOLE GARDEN • KING RICHARD • THE LAST DAYS OF MARILYN MONROE • LAST NIGHT IN ROZZIE • LAW & ORDER: SVU 21 • LETTERKENNY 05 • LIFE • LILIAN • LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE • THE LITTLE MERMAID • LITTLE THINGS • LONESOME SOLDIER • LOVECRAFT COUNTRY • MACBETH • MANHUNT: LONE WOLF 02 • MAP OF TINY PERFECT THINGS • MISTER MAYFAIR • MOTHERLAND: FORT SALEM • MRS. AMERICA • MY ROOMMATE'S AN ESCORT 02 • MYSTERY 101: MOVIE 2 - PLAYING DEAD • A NAKED SINGULARITY • ON THE ROCKS • OPEN •
The synopsis for the live-action Akira includes several differences from both the anime and manga in story and setting. For instance, the live-action movie will be set in Neo Manhattan, not Tokyo, and instead of being a member of a biker gang, Kaneda will have a job as a bartender. The main thrust of the plot, Kaneda trying to save Tetsuo from the military after he develops telekinetic powers, appears to remain the same, though now Tetsuo is Kaneda's brother instead of best friend. Of course, considering the movie is still in the early stages of development, these story elements could always change again before filming starts.
Waititi has previously stated that he intends to adapt the manga rather than the anime and wants to keep the ethnicity of all the characters accurate to the original, which is good news for fans worried this adaptation may fall prey to white-washing. Though the current plot details highlight some differences between the live-action movie and its source material, Waititi's enthusiasm and dedication to honoring the original should bode well for the upcoming film despite its changes. His past directorial effort, Thor: Ragnarok, also shows that he knows how to liven up any genre. He was successfully able to take Thor's story in a vibrant new direction while simultaneously remaining true to the source material. Hopefully, Waititi is able to carry his bold and enthusiastic energy for Ragnarok to Akira when it begins filming later this year.
Source: Production Weekly