After many starts and stop — an Albert Hughes directed version had the plug pulled after pre-production had already started earlier this year — Warner Bros has greenlit a live action AKIRA remake again. This time Jaume Collet-Serra (ORPHAN) is set to direct. The movie apparently got new life after the budget was cut to a practically spartan $90 million.
The movie is based on the hugely influential animated 1988 AKIRA by Katsuhiro Otomo, itself based on the manga, which followed the adventures of two teen-aged bikers, Kaneda and Tetsuo in a cyberpunk Tokyo of the future, where Kaneda must prevent Tetsuo from releasing his psionic powers.
Of course, since no Asian actors can play Asian characters, the current fave to play Kaneda ia Tron Legacy’s Garrett Hedlund. And the setting is now New Manhattan.
The not at all liberal or dismissive Guardian has a rundown of the film’s halting history here, suggesting that a cheaper movie is being made because WB paid so much for the rights a few years ago.
Fortunately, the original manga is currently being published by Kodansha.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.