It's Official: AKIRA Gets The Green Light

Founder and Editor; Toronto, Canada (@AnarchistTodd)
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It's Official: AKIRA Gets The Green Light
After years of trying Warner Brothers have apparently found a combination of script, budget and director that they like and have given the greenlight to their feature version of Akira.

Originally beginning life as a two film project to be directed by Ruairi Robinson, who was later replaced by Albert Hughes, the project is now in the hands of Jaume Collet-Serra with a modest - by event film standards - budget of ninety million dollars. Somewhere in the Hughes era WB simply dropped any language about Akira spanning two films that it's going to be one and out unless this version proves majorly successful.

This new version, though compressed, appears to be at least somewhat based on Robinson's earlier take, however, with the story transposed from Japan into a futuristic New Manhattan with the biker gangs and psychokinetic powers of Katsuhiro Otomo's original preserved. Otomo will receive what is surely a lip-service Executive Producer credit on the film with the actual producing duties falling to Leonardo DiCaprio (really), Jennifer Davisson Killoran and Andrew Lazar. Production is scheduled to start in late February or early March so start speculating now on who may fill the Tetsuo and Kaneda roles.
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via Variety

More about Akira

SaltonerOctober 19, 2011 10:38 PM

This will be like the Transformers movies. Very bad, but very fun to watch.

zetobeltOctober 20, 2011 7:58 AM

With a ninety million dollars budget... I doubt so.

Ard VijnOctober 20, 2011 9:02 AM

Some of the most beloved films I've seen are remakes and/or adaptations, and often on a low budget. "John Carpenter's The Thing" for example.

So I will withhold judgment until I've seen this "Akira". As for hopes, well...that's another issue.

hiroaki.jOctober 20, 2011 9:35 AM

That's a fine point Ard, but the very nature of "Who Goes There" lends itself to a fairly contained film. With everything that happens in Akira, even the film, what exactly would you focus on with 90 million?

It sounds like they're making "Firestarter" with a red motorcycle in it.

MarsHottentotOctober 20, 2011 11:27 AM

When weaving a curse on an upcoming film that offends my sensibilities, I use "Alan Moore Brand Spitting VenomĀ®"; for when you want them to know how you really feel.

I'm guessing that Warner Bros will lose the rights if they don't get cracking on it soon? I'm sure the thinking is "If it's a hit, that will be great, if it's shit, at least it won't be a property that comes back to haunt us in the future".

The director, Jaume Collet-Serra, is the same guy who did House Of Wax (the Paris Hilton movie, remember?), Unknown, and Orphan - pretty meat and potatoes fare. To me, this signals that the studio just wants AKIRA shot and done more than anything else. Collet-Serra will get that job done - and probably under budget.

I hope Mr. Collet-Serra (or an associate of his) is aware of what this film could possibly do to his career. Mr. Collet-Serra, please understand that - like League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Spirit and The Last Airbender before it - AKIRA is one of those movies that will be going into the theaters with a serious case of what I call 'Fan Cancer'.

The level of online hatred for this project will be so great that - and this is 100% certain - it will spill out of fandom and into the mainstream dialog. Stephen Norrington (League) and Frank Miller (The Spirit) have not been in the director's chair since and do I really need to say anything about M. Night Shyamalan? You can do the deed, but there will be a price to pay, is all I'm saying.

If there's anything this project could do to staunch the inevitable gut shot that's coming - it's to get a strong Japanese American protagonist and antagonist. Yes, they will be unknowns - but the actors are out there. To draw in your midwest market, simply populate the rest of the movie with names and faces they know and trust - and then slather on the 'splosions.

Certainly the relatively small budget should allow for a little bit of control, right?

Good luck to you, Mr. Collet-Serra. Despite what I wrote, I don't believe that an altered AKIRA is impossible to do. You're just going to have to work very, very hard against incredible odds to do it!

MarsHottentotOctober 20, 2011 12:08 PM

Looks like TRON: Legacy's Garrett Hedlund is in talks to play Kaneda.

So, yeah, this is a property burial.

xinoOctober 20, 2011 3:57 PM

still the same bad results even though the director gets 30 million to make a film.
That's the problem with production movies with high budget, when they have so much money on budget, they tend to waste majority of the money on special effects:/

Movies like Ninja Assassin that got a high budget but wasted on trash bloody effects. Unless you can refresh my memory and tell me high budget movies that were successful and also liked by many fans.

Todd BrownOctober 20, 2011 4:47 PM

Inception. Batman Begins. Thor. There are loads ... that's a silly argument.

Ard VijnOctober 20, 2011 7:04 PM

Avatar. Titanic.
Yeah, laugh all you want, then check the numbers.

xinoOctober 21, 2011 2:46 PM

how is it a silly argument?
well I agree with the list but how was Thor good?
Thor, Green Lantern & Captain America were bad movies. (if you're not a comic reader then they are amazing in your eyes)
don't forget failed expensive movies to add to your list like G.I Joe, Spiderman 3, Troy

even a small budget movie can be as good like Blood Last Vampire. I love the movie (opinion).

In the end, having high cost budget doesn't mean the movie would be successful. Oh yea back to Ong Bak 2. The most expensive movie in Thailand and was a critical failure by the masses yet I value it as one of my best martial arts movie ever made.

So this isn't a silly argument. Its all down to opinion anyway.

@Ard Vijn.
Laugh at what and check what number? review number scores? budget score or box office score? I hope you are not referring to box office score:/

In the end what decides a failed and a successful movie? the masses decide, if majority of people all cry that a movie suck, therefore it sucks. If you dislike but liked the movie, well that is your opinion. When many agree over 1 disagree, there is nothing we can do about it.

Todd BrownOctober 21, 2011 4:17 PM

Troy made $481 million worldwide on a budget of $175.

Spider-Man 3 made $885 million worldwide on a budget of $258.

GI Joe made $301 million worldwide on a budget of $175.

You have an interesting definition of failure. Don't confuse your opinion of a film with the rest of the world's opinion.

kaizokuOctober 21, 2011 7:56 PM

oh ffs!!!

leave the anime alone!!!

its brilliant as it is. why make a hollywood version for it to be such a rubbish movie!!!!!

i'll keep my fingers crossed that this never gets made!

xinoOctober 22, 2011 7:09 PM

wtf? ok now we're talking about sales instead of budget cost?
of course the movies will sell well man, when publishers spend so much money on making a movie, they would spend millions of adverts for their movie. And we all know that 1 advert on tv cost a million.

Spiderman 3 may generate a lot of sales but the movie sucks man.

Please stop trying to act as if you are right. I am not using my opinion, I am using logic!
Spending $$ of money to make a movie doesn't mean it would be a success. Directors usually gets carried away making the movie and ultimately farks it up!
The marketing department are smartasses. Because a trash movie can look AMAZING from just a trailer. And that trailer can deceive and lead people to believe what they see is what they'll get.

A movie earning $$ doesn't mean its enjoyable to watch. Why do a big budget movie earn that much sale?
1. Through word of mouth- if the movie is that 'good', it would be recommended by friends and family as well as review sites
2. deceptive advertising, a movie showing so much action in a trailer is not what you'd always expect, as people believe that is what they'll get
3. Tons of advertising, Publishers will advert the hell out of their movie to make sure people see their movies on tv and they'll use media's rating as a selling tool such as "Twitch: Amazing 5 stars".

Akira can cost $90m and I can never see it being successful neither do many who are complaining now!
Unless you can prove to me an adaptation or remake that was very successful (NOT SALES wise) and many fans and viewers enjoy.

So a movie earning more than production budget is a success? yes it is in the eyes of the publishers but from the eyes of fans it varies.
And you are missing the point of this discussion and Akira cries. Production cost $90m isn't the problem. Obviously it would generate sales, the problem is "would fans enjoy the movie or not?".

Todd BrownOctober 23, 2011 1:44 PM

Ah. I see. So to satisfy your definition of success I would have to do so without referring to either tickets sold or the budget spent to sell those tickets. That's ludicrous. And you're not using logic at all if you're saying they made money because they spent money while IGNORING that I included in my comment HOW MUCH THEY SPENT and that the total amount of money made was far, far greater.

You don't like them. Fine. I don't particularly like them, either. But MILLIONS of people do and to say they're not successful or that nobody likes them is just blatantly ignoring the documented facts.

But if you want some other standard, fine. How's this:

Of the just under 64k people who rated GI Joe on the IMDB, 61.5% rated it a six or higher. Meaning well over half of them are in the like-to-love range.

Of the 168k people who rated Spider-Man 3 on the IMDB, 71.5% rated it six or higher.

Of the 163k people who have rated Troy on the IMDB, 85.3% rated it a six or higher.

In the real world all three of the films that you chose as example are both financial AND popular successes.

To give some more examples of successful remakes, how about The Ring ($230 million dollar gross on a $48 million budget, 87.3% positive ratings on the IMDB) or The Departed ($289 million gross worldwide on a $90 million budget, 95.1% positive ratings on the IMDB and an Oscar win).

Logic is only logic when based on fact. Yours isn't.

ShaeOctober 23, 2011 6:08 PM

Will be more of a re-make of the anime film or an adaptation of the manga? I read that Bonham Carter was offered the role of Lady Miyako so I could assume it would be based more on the manga.

xinoOctober 23, 2011 7:04 PM

You're still trying to act smart ass I see.
I believe you are the one missing the point here. We don't care about budget or sales. We care about the quality of the damn movie!
All adaptations the West has made from Asian media are all failed!
I don't care if 65% on imdb rates a movie (millions of people don't even use that damn site so your theory failed there). In fact I'm starting to use imdb slowly and still haven't rated movies.
Look at DragonBall movie, fans who love DBZ all hate the movie. But if you want to point and say the movie was a success because of sales or ratings on IMDB, your logic still fails. Because you are missing the fact that there are fans and non fans. Non fans are the ones who don't even know wtf the movie is nor its origin. They don't even know it was a remake. They would love the film however the fans hated how the movie didn't stay true to its origin.
Please stop trying to act like a smart ass! You missed the point why fans are angry at movie remakes. Its NOT about the money: budget or sales. It's about making something that would please the fans.
Oh yea have you seen fan movies such as Street Fighter Beginning's End? or Naruto: Fighters Dream? compare that to Street Fighter Legend of Chun Li. And you would understand what I am talking about. A fan movie that spent less on budget to make a free movie stayed TRUE to the origins of Street Fighter while the hollywood version butchered their version.

This is what we fans are concerned about. But you are right in your other article, why should we fans cry about this? They are basically making the movie to draw new comers to the series but we fans will always cherish the origin of the anime.

Todd BrownOctober 23, 2011 7:13 PM

Ah, I see. So it's only a good movie if you, and people like you, think it's a good movie and if millions of other people like it for reasons you don't approve of it's still crap and a failure. Gotcha. Glad we're clear on that.

God forbid the universe fail to organize itself around your personal taste.

VyceVictusOctober 23, 2011 8:34 PM

Elitism is just as dangerous to cinema as dumbing down to the lowest common denominator. The sooner you realize this the better.

xinoOctober 24, 2011 3:57 PM

i'm not an elitist.
My beef is that Hollywood can't make an adaptation that stays true to the origin. Resident Evil movies are all piece of sh* except for the first movie.
Todd is trying to talk about what makes a movie successful which is being sales. I know that but I'm talking about fan service.
I mean why exactly should Hollywood be making an adaptation that doesn't stay true to it's origin but just to introduce new people to the series? They might as well just call it a different name. It is more of an insult and deception.
Sam Raimi should have just butchered Spiderman 1 movie adaptation just like hoe Dare Devil, Elektra, Green Lantern, Thor were all butchered.
If Hollywood don't care about money, they would make the first movie stay true to its origin and then make a sequel that can draw new fans in.
But it doesn't matter as Tod gave a reason why we shouldn't cry.
I will always cherish the original, Hollywood can do whatever the hell they want, I won't contribute by paying for their trash movie remakes or adaptations.

VyceVictusOctober 24, 2011 5:49 PM

The user hiroaki.j made an excellent comment in the "why crying is useless" thread posted by Todd. The member lists examples of classic high quality films that are actually remakes/adaptations. Many of them make significant alterations to the source meaterial. That whole "staying true to the origin" thinking is just delusional. It's false, and it's important to recognize that.

And lets be real, the source material for lot of these fanboy properties is also trash. RE; the high melodrama, walking around a giant mansion looking for oddly placed keys? Its preposterous. But that's okay, because it worked and people love it for that. Movies like RE and DBZ were'nt shit becaues "they didn't stay true to the original", they were shit because they were badly made movies. Just like the plethora of all other bad movies, pre-existing I.P. notwithstanding. That "all remakes are hollywood trash" thinking is not reality.

And what I meant by elitism is this. In the hypothetical future, if somone who happens upon the orignal Akira before the remake movie and truly enjoys and appreciates it, that experience makes him "fortunate", not "better than others". A person might like Fast & furious movies or TF, but they might also encounter thought provoking films and take them to heart. Just because they put money in "hollywood trash" while you would refuse doesn't make you better than them. This devisive thinking does no good for cinema as a whole.