Warner Bros. Courts New Akira Director

Warner Bros. Courts New Akira Director

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A director with a reputation for delivering on time and on budget could be just what the Akira movie needs.

Following the departure of Albert Hughes from its live-action Akira remake, Warner Bros. is now in talks with a new director. Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra is in line to take over the project. Collet-Serra's most recent movie was Unknown, a thriller starring Liam Nesson, which came out earlier this year.

Collet-Serra has also worked directed movies like Orphan, and House of Wax, which, among others, starred Paris Hilton. According to Variety, he has a reputation for delivering movies on time and on budget, which may mean that Akira will finally make it out of the planning stages and actually reach the big screen.

Of course, that may be something of a mixed blessing, as by all accounts the script has been thoroughly westernized, with the story now set in New Manhattan, rather than Neo Tokyo. What's more, the studio is supposedly looking for white actors to play the lead roles of Tetsuo and Kaneda, both of whom will presumably be renamed.

A new setting and new character names don't automatically mean that the movie will be bad, but it hasn't inspired a lot of confidence among Akira fans. Of course, alienating the existing audience may still pay off if Warner can make a movie that more people can identify with.

Source: via Bleeding Cool

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Although I haven't seen Akira (although I'm hopefully seeing it this summer in the Barbican), American remakes are rarely a great thing. However worse are the remakes that never come out, cost too much, and then on top of that, just to add insult to injury, suck.

Still, hopefully by the time this comes out/comes close to coming out I'll have seen it and can be pleasantly surprised/bitterly disappointed.

Also,

If something has this much trouble being born, it probably shouldn't have been conceived in the first place.

I hope the movie gets cancelled because it'll probably be horrible.

I like the cast that was attached (at least at one point), but this just needs to die. Or, at the very least, change the title. It's my Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within argument all over again; the movie wasn't anywhere near as terrible as people make it out to be, but it had absolutely nothing to do with the supposed source material, so the public ripped it a new one. If they called it something other than Akira and just dropped the pretense that it's supposed to be based on the anime film, then half the backlash would go away.

I usually roll my eyes at how fans will grab their torches & pitchforks upon the news that their favorite thing might be another thing regardless of potential. But as Robert Brockway has informed us, this movie has NO potential. Be sure to read the first article to let it all sink in how monumentally bad this idea is.

Horny Ico:
I usually roll my eyes at how fans will grab their torches & pitchforks upon the news that their favorite thing might be another thing regardless of potential. But as Robert Brockway has informed us, this movie has NO potential. Be sure to read the first article to let it all sink in how monumentally bad this idea is.

I don't need to read an article to see how INCREDIBLY bad it is to take a beloved Japanese story that is swamped with Japanese culture and then taking it and trying to make it Westernized by changing the characters and the setpieces. This is crazier than what Uwe Boll did with Alone in the Dark.... along with every other damn movie he's ever made.

Can't this project just die? It's kind of just another horror movie from the way they're going.

yourbeliefs:

Horny Ico:
I usually roll my eyes at how fans will grab their torches & pitchforks upon the news that their favorite thing might be another thing regardless of potential. But as Robert Brockway has informed us, this movie has NO potential. Be sure to read the first article to let it all sink in how monumentally bad this idea is.

I don't need to read an article to see how INCREDIBLY bad it is to take a beloved Japanese story that is swamped with Japanese culture and then taking it and trying to make it Westernized by changing the characters and the setpieces. This is crazier than what Uwe Boll did with Alone in the Dark.... along with every other damn movie he's ever made.

It still might be worth a read because he goes into great detail how every theme in Akira is inherit symbolism of Japanese mentality and culture. Besides, the second article (the one that I actually linked) includes excepts from the actual script to confirm how incredibly devoid of creativity and intelligence it is.

ChildofGallifrey:
I like the cast that was attached (at least at one point), but this just needs to die. Or, at the very least, change the title. It's my Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within argument all over again; the movie wasn't anywhere near as terrible as people make it out to be, but it had absolutely nothing to do with the supposed source material, so the public ripped it a new one. If they called it something other than Akira and just dropped the pretense that it's supposed to be based on the anime film, then half the backlash would go away.

If Justin Timberlake is still associated with this project then I'm going to need to respectfully disagree about the casting. However we're very much in agreement that nothing good will come of this project and that it should just go away.

I could care less if it is Westernized. Anyone that has read the manga or even seen the movie knows that it being a japanese product is not essential to the identity of the piece than, say, the trilogy of chinese films that spawned The Departed filmed than Martin Scorcese.

If the movie is bad, and that's not a big if, it won't be because it was westernized.

ChildofGallifrey:
I like the cast that was attached (at least at one point), but this just needs to die. Or, at the very least, change the title. It's my Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within argument all over again; the movie wasn't anywhere near as terrible as people make it out to be, but it had absolutely nothing to do with the supposed source material, so the public ripped it a new one. If they called it something other than Akira and just dropped the pretense that it's supposed to be based on the anime film, then half the backlash would go away.

Actually I thought that movie sucked major ass.

And a movie that's about Akira is still the same movie even without the name.

Seen the original Akira and I remember it for being pretty fucked up. I still don't remember what the plot was about. I don't really care if the remake tanks at the box offices and critics hate it. Pretty much everything that had development problems tends to finish with a questionnable product. (I'll put a "with only a few exceptions" just in case).

This is very simple. When the anime was made of Akira,they had to leave out a hell of a lot of the mammoth manga that it was adapted from. The anime is awesome,if a little rushed in places,and that's considering it's directed by the guy who wrote the original manga. What possible hope in hell does anyone have of doing an American version of it without any understanding of the original in the first place? The film will be absolutely terrible. There's a reason why the Japanese have never attempted to do a live action version themselves,it's because they know it just wouldn't work. Hollywood,do me a favour,stop trying to remake films that you have no grasp of in the first place.

Well there goes my childhood.

They would have to really rework the premise of Akira to make it work for live action. Casting, setting, locations, etc. People aren't so much worried about the actual adaptation of the idea, but I can understand why fans hate it. The movie industry tends to fuck things up when it comes to adapting original or foreign ideas.

It would be cool to see some of the anime's set pieces on the big screen. I would hope they would cast some unknowns as Kaneda and Tetsuo.

While I hold little hope for this movie, I really want it to be good just because then I can listen to the anime fans eat there words, it's not going to suck cause it's an American movie it's going to suck because it's a bad movie.

Akira is wildly overrated and Unknown was massively cornball (in a bad way), but this combination of franchise and director... I dunno, it might just work.

It certainly is a mixed blessing. On one hand, AmerAkira is a terrible idea. On the other, nothing about this idea has even a passing familiarity with good. Sort of like a chocolate/Dutch chocolate mix.

Unknown was a decent film, although I haven't seen any of his other work.

Rushing a film into production is never a good thing though, so this will most likely end in disaster.

At least they didn't hire Brett Ratner.

Considering everyone in hollywood has been admitting this movie is completely dead, something they don't often do, I doubt there's much truth to this rumor.

Yosharian:

Actually I thought that movie sucked major ass.

And a movie that's about Akira is still the same movie even without the name.

And you're welcome to think that. A lot of my acquaintances just told me that if it didn't have the Final Fantasy name slapped on it they would have been more charitable towards it.

And my point about changing the name was mostly that they've changed practically everything else, so it's barely going to have any similarities to the original in the end. It'll just end up being another apocalypse movie. So if the story has nothing to do with the original, it's basically an original movie with a marketable name attached. Take away the marketable name, some of the bad will attached will likely go away.

ThingWhatSqueaks:

If Justin Timberlake is still associated with this project then I'm going to need to respectfully disagree about the casting. However we're very much in agreement that nothing good will come of this project and that it should just go away.

Actually, as much as I wish that he'd go back to sucking like he did in the 90's (if, for no other reason, because I hate misjudging people), Timberlake has actually turned out to be a pretty good actor. In Social Network, the recent Bad Teacher, and even some of the crap he's done like The Love Guru, he really tends to steal the scenes he's in. One has to admit, he has a charismatic presence. There are way, way worse people that could be cast.

But, for discussion's sake, I don't believe he is still attached.

ChildofGallifrey:

Yosharian:

Actually I thought that movie sucked major ass.

And a movie that's about Akira is still the same movie even without the name.

And you're welcome to think that. A lot of my acquaintances just told me that if it didn't have the Final Fantasy name slapped on it they would have been more charitable towards it.

And my point about changing the name was mostly that they've changed practically everything else, so it's barely going to have any similarities to the original in the end. It'll just end up being another apocalypse movie. So if the story has nothing to do with the original, it's basically an original movie with a marketable name attached. Take away the marketable name, some of the bad will attached will likely go away.

No, as in it was a fucking terrible movie even with or without the Final Fantasy link

4Kids is making this?

So fitting.

All I'm saying is Dragonball movie!

ChildofGallifrey:
I like the cast that was attached (at least at one point), but this just needs to die. Or, at the very least, change the title. It's my Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within argument all over again; the movie wasn't anywhere near as terrible as people make it out to be, but it had absolutely nothing to do with the supposed source material, so the public ripped it a new one.

See, I always get a little annoyed by this argument. Sure, Spirits Within was very different from other entries in the FF series, but to claim it had nothing to do with the source material is a bit facetious. Final Fantasy has always included elements of Shintoism and Gaia theory into its stories: the Lifestream in VII, Gaia in IX, etc etc. With that in mind, the story in Spirits Within is actually much in the same vein as other FF games- it's about the spirit of the earth dying, and humanity choosing to ignore it in the face of a seeming 'invasion'. Sure, it may not have had Chocobos and Cactuars, but Final Fantasy has never been about them.

And besides, it still managed to work airships, random encounters, and a character names Cid into the plot. How is that not Final Fantasy.

Sorry, I've got a bit of a thing for that film.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

See, I always get a little annoyed by this argument. Sure, Spirits Within was very different from other entries in the FF series, but to claim it had nothing to do with the source material is a bit facetious. Final Fantasy has always included elements of Shintoism and Gaia theory into its stories: the Lifestream in VII, Gaia in IX, etc etc. With that in mind, the story in Spirits Within is actually much in the same vein as other FF games- it's about the spirit of the earth dying, and humanity choosing to ignore it in the face of a seeming 'invasion'. Sure, it may not have had Chocobos and Cactuars, but Final Fantasy has never been about them.

And besides, it still managed to work airships, random encounters, and a character names Cid into the plot. How is that not Final Fantasy.

Sorry, I've got a bit of a thing for that film.

Oh, I understand where you're coming from. Personally, I quite enjoyed the film, but the majority of the people I know that saw it had one major complaint, "That shit wasn't Final Fantasy!" These are the same people that didn't get why I laughed when Dr. Cid was introduced. The average player doesn't look deeper into the games for their themes and messages. They went to the movie expecting it to be a swords-and-sorcery tale with moogles and black mages, or they just wanted to see Cloud hefting his drastically oversized sword while looking somber. These are the people that wanted it to be overflowing with Chocobos and Cactuars.

I tried pointing out to more than one person that it was actually fairly close to FFVII, in setting and tone if nothing else, but no dice. The only thing I could end up saying to them was, "Well, at least it had James Woods in it." (because everybody loves James woods!)

Logan Westbrook:
Of course, alienating the existing audience may still pay off if Warner can make a movie that more people can identify with.
[snip]

Umm, although I can see the logic of that in the general case, here we are dealing with a long-standing franchise, so I would definitely say that alienating your existing audience is exactly what you don't do. Sure, you might loose a couple of Comic Book guys, but "New Manhattan" and "John" and "Mark" instead of Tetsuo and Kaneda? That's kind of like doing "The Little Mermaid", but you replace "Ariel" with "Bella", move it onto land and make the Prince be cursed by a witch and call him "Beast". But you still call it "Little Mermaid" instead of "Beuty and the Beast". Ok, maybe the Disney thing wasn't the best analogy, but I think y'all see what I'm getting at. How is this Akira? "Based on characters, thrice removed?"

I'm really beginning to wonder who the target audience is. At this stage, they might as well scrap any pretense of actually being anything remotely connected to Akira and make Yet-Another-Superhero movie; that makes more sense as far as viewership goes.

Edit: They could even add some in-references to Akira in this would-be YASH movie and tickle the fans' fancies, instead of alienating them.

America can't even adapt its own cartoons to live action (see: Flintstones, Yogi Bear, Last Airbender); why do we insist on "adapting" other nations' works the same way?!?!

Oh right- because we're lazy uncreative bastards.

Arkvoodle:
America can't even adapt its own cartoons to live action (see: Flintstones, Yogi Bear, Last Airbender); why do we insist on "adapting" other nations' works the same way?!?!

Oh right- because we're lazy uncreative bastards.

Uhhmm ... what? Have you missed the deluge of american superhero cartoons the last decades? Some of them where ... well, decent, but so are all live-action adaptions. Actually, most live action anme is pretty horrendous. Or, wait, maybe you're being facetious ... I can never tell on the internet!

Asuka Soryu:
4Kids is making this?

So fitting.

It's funny...sad...and true.

So very very true.

I don't know why they insist on making this movie. Seems like a bad idea. Akira is. Eccentric. And is very much the culture it's based on. adaptations happen all the time from books and even other countries but for someone to make something like Akira work. It would take magic. Devil magic. Which is good because a lot of animes don't make discernments from normal magic to the demon magic unless the main theme of said story has to do with friendship.

 

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