Live-Action AKIRA Likely To Be A Very Liberal Adaptation

Director Jaume Collet-Serra talks the talk.

Maybe you thought the live-action Akira adaptation that has been discussed for at least forty years now would continue to never happen. That could end up being the case. Somedays it looks dead. Somedays it looks like it may yet rise into being. Today sits firmly in the latter category, though fans of the book may wish it didn't.

Today's potential director of a potential live action Akira adaptation is Jaume Collet-Serra, I believe the same potential director as the last time this potential property was in the potential news. Back in 2011, Collet-Serra wanted a bunch of money to make the film. Warner Bros said they'd give him part of that bunch of money. They came to an agreement, and now everyone's just waiting for Collet-Serra to get going. It hasn't been easy for him because he's been working non-stop on Non-Stop.

But here's the real news (though there have been hints of this brewing already): Collet-Serra's version of Akira is going to be quite different from the one you freaked out over twenty years ago and now can't bring yourself to rewatch. As the director told Coming Soon:

I hope that I can bring strong characters. In the original source material, I don’t think the main characters are the protagonists. What I’m hoping is to bring characters.

This is kind of a wishy-washy way of telling us that Collet-Serra doesn't think much of Akira's original characters.

And here's the less wishy-washy version:

Nobody’s interesting [in the anime]. Tetsuo’s interesting because weird sh*t happens to him, and Kaneda is so two-dimensional. That’s part of the Japanese culture, they never have strong characters. They’re used as a way to move the other philosophy forward.

Ha! He's totally right. So right it almost makes me want to see Non-Stop. Akira is boring and long and it seems like half the running time is just people screaming other people's names without end. If we're really going to sit through this again, I'd rather see it from a director willing to make big adaptation changes. Even if they end up being awful, at least he gave it a real shot.

I don't really want this movie at all, but now I'm kind of rooting for it anyway.