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Falling To Pieces? Live-Action ‘Akira’ Gets New Writer, PG-13 Stamp
The Movie God   |  @   |  

For many fans of the popular six-part Japanese manga or the 1988 animated film, the announcement of a live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo‘s Akira was a scary but quietly intriguing prospect. With today’s filmmaking technologies, there’s no doubt that a faithful and well-made film could be amazing to see, if put in the right hands.

Then came word that Albert Hughes and Allan Hughes would be stepping in to direct the movie for Warner Brothers and Leonardo DiCaprio‘s Appian Way Productions.

At that point, Children of Men, Iron Man, and Cowboys and Aliens writing duo Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby were working on the script, but it sounds like now a change has been made. In an interview with Collider, producer Andrew Lazar talked all things Akira. Among the things discussed, he shared that the new writer working on the project is Albert Torres. Also, that the first of the proposed two films would be based on parts 1-3 of the manga, and the second of course will focus on parts 4-6.

The troubling thing about this news is that Torres only has one writing credit, and that one credit is Luke Wilson’s Henry Poole is Here. Yeah. Hard to figure out how that’s better than the resume of the guys they had before that. There is always the chance that Torres could be working from a pre-existing draft, but that is yet to be seen.

On top of all of that, Film School Rejects (via BDK Reviews) came across an interview that Albert Hughes did on The Kevin and Josh Movie Show. In this interview, Hughes stated that the first thing that Warner Bros. said to him, was that it had to be rated PG-13. This will surely infuriate the hardcore fans — maybe even to a point of not wanting to see it — though it’s not craziest plan in the world. As /Film points out, the studio put a ton of money into Zack Snyder’s Watchmen, and even though it was an amazing R-rated adaptation of an un-adaptable graphic novel, it did not do all that well at the box office ($130-$150 million budget, $185 million worldwide box office). Unfortunately, from a business standpoint, they just don’t feel they can risk that again.

As mentioned, this live-action Akira movie will be two parts, with both expected to be directed by the Hughes Brothers. Now this doesn’t look so certain. In the same radio interview, Albert says “I’m not into sequels. I don’t even know if I wanna be around for the sequel. I’m just focusing on the first movie.” This is very interesting because it’s not really a sequel. Again, the first movie will handle parts 1-3 of the manga, and the second will handle parts 4-6, making one big two-part film. This would be like Quentin Tarantino saying he didn’t want to make Kill Bill Part 2 for the same reasons.

Aside from all of that, this sounds like a project that Warner Brothers is excited about getting made. Knowing what you know now, are you excited at all, or disgusted?


  1. This project needs to get canceled quickly. If they dont want to make it like the original then dont make it all. PG-13!?!? WTF!

    Comment by JV — June 24, 2010 @ 8:53 am

  2. I died a little inside when I saw the PG13.
    Sound like they want to make it a family film for all ages to make more money.

    Comment by EY — June 24, 2010 @ 10:06 am

  3. TETSUO!!!!!!!!! KANEIDA!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by SilentJay74 — June 24, 2010 @ 10:27 am

  4. PG13 doesn’t bother me… The Dark Knight and Lord of the Rings were PG13… but the whole “I’m not a sequel guy” comment just rubbed me the wrong way. I had thought these guys were going into this project with a love and understanding of the material, but now seeing that only ONE of them is doing it, and that he considers the second half of the story to be “a sequel”? My faith in this production is at an all time low. I would love if a creator with an actual vision and the balls to stand up and say, “We’re doing this my way” would take the reigns and give it the same love and care Jackson gave LOTR. That’s all I want… I want my Akira to be done right.

    Comment by NeverWanderer — June 25, 2010 @ 3:24 am

  5. I can not believe it I just can not believe the movie is totaly going to suck ass big time. Mind you I do like the Huges bros. movies but to take a cult movie like this and put a PG-13 rating on this great movie is absolutly ridiculous they need to leave the movie the way it is and remake it the exact same way it was when it first came it. this is pretty FUCKING pathic.

    Comment by Pete — June 26, 2010 @ 10:46 pm

  6. GREAT!!!! Another Wolverine, Dragonball Z, Mortal Kombat, X-men 3, Airbender movie in the making with the cheesy corny family fun theme, with crappy comedy one liners, love interest and worst altered plot with crappy pop music. Word of advice to directors keep this movie scene from scene to the original plot and most important make it a score not a soundtrack.

    Comment by Apotheosis — July 16, 2010 @ 5:12 pm

  7. IT would be, literally, impossible to make this film follow the manga series simply because of the violence censorship cap that a PG-13 movie rating implies… How is Tetsuo going to blow heads off with his mind, lose an arm, show millions of civilans being vaporized in Akira’s blast, let alone the people who get shot and maimed on a regular basis.

    Look at the animated movie, crap, and only contained 10% of the story and THAT was rated R. See my point.

    This movie is destined to fail at a PG-13 rating. WB needs to stop buying up cult classics and turning them into kid friendly crap that do nothing but infuriate hardcore fans.

    Oh.. maybe they can change how half the characters are drug addicts and make them sugar addicts!!! Wouldn’t that be fun?? And marketable too! “Ahhh!!! My headaches!! Quick! The lollypops!!!”

    There’s only one way to make this movie. Butcher it, after all, that’s what WB does best.

    Comment by SalesmanB&CustomerS — October 7, 2010 @ 7:21 pm

  8. Okay… I just watched and entered the whole Akira fandom a few days ago… This. Sucks. So. Friggin. Much. I clicked on this because I saw the “PG-13” thing… So seriously, freaking how? As said before, the anime was “R”. Grrrrrrr, this makes me want to go and punch someone! And as the person above me said, what about the drug addictions? In the first volume, Tetsuo mentions/takes quite a lot to take care of his “headache”. They’re going to ruin it -_- And americanize it.

    Comment by Mariah — October 24, 2010 @ 4:02 am

  9. PG13, character name changes, token hot chick, non-asian actors, NYC (i am from NYC BTW, so i am not hatin), current teen heart throb playing lead role (Zac Ephron?!?!?!)………. look if this movie is going to fall victim to the typical Hollywood chezzy campy boring theme (Wolverine !!!!! uggghhhh utter disaster) forget it !!!! Give it to a Japanese studio. I am sure they will do it right. Akira would be perfect for Kazuaki Kiriya, who did Cassern and Goeman. His style would be perfect for Akira!! Sorry Hugh bros, from what i hear so far i have no plans on watching the Live Action of Akira from what i hear the way its going.

    Comment by Apotheosis — December 19, 2010 @ 3:28 pm

  10. No! Absolutely not! PG-13 will murder the work of art which is Akira. Hollywood will rape it so the retarded young adults will come as one great mass of stupid. Let them go to Twilight and other infectious, vile piles of fecal matter and let Akira to the mature, sensible and long time fans. Akira is not a story that needs sexed up because tweens want to see “hawt” males and want to identify with a helpless heroine. Akira, thankfully is beyond that, millions of light years ahead of that. Not only is the violence in it required to the plot and to the world building, but the characters are profound, intense and their dramas are actually visible and relevant. I am not saying people under 18 should not see it, hell, I was under 10 when I saw the animation and I was instantly hooked, but only after seeing it years later I got to understand all the complexity and depth of the story. Dumbing it down to get more money is hideous. And how dare they insult “Watchmen”? It was one of the best adaptations and one of the best movies period. It respected the source material in an amazing way, it was brilliant to watch, memorable and unique because of the way it adapted something so difficult. It should be applauded, not brought down because it did not serve as a whore for Hollywood’s purpose. Screw the “business man” point of view. That is the sell-out’s point of view and I thank the universe for Zach Snyder who actually has the balls to not fit into that category. Sadly, one of my loves, Akira, will not be so lucky, as it is brought down from work of art to grotesque parody. PG-13 will bring the retards who will not understand or care about it, but it will alienate the fans. But I guess the retards outnumber the fans, right, Hollywood, you bloated whore?

    Comment by Laviskrg — March 13, 2011 @ 6:10 am

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