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Live-Action ‘Akira’ Comes Back to Life


Remember the Akira movie Warner Bros. tried to make a year or so ago? It’s back, with a familiar face in tow.

Director Jaume Collet-Serra is once again in talks with the studio to direct the live-action adaptation of the Katsuhiro Otomo manga, produced by Leonardo DiCaprio through Appian Way. Akira was shut down in January 2012 during pre-production due to script changes and a need to reduce a hefty budget. Collet-Serra was attached at the time, but left the project during its transitional phase, focusing instead on the upcoming Liam Neeson action flick Non-Stop.

Variety reports that after a search for a new director, including Paranormal Activity 3 duo Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, Warner Bros. has returned to Collet-Serra and his vision, albeit with a lower budget. The adaptation is scheduled to begin production next spring.

The live-action Akira takes the story to New Manhattan and follows a bike gang leader who fights the government to save his friend, a man with dangerous psychokinetic abilities.


  • Meta4

    Removing the context of neo tokyo from this story almost defeats the point entirely. The themes of technology vs. Spiritual faith are the ties that bind this epic together, without the subtext of these themes within modern japanese culture, I’m afraid this movie might miss the point entirely just to create another americanized, explosion based action movie.

  • Jimmy Russell


  • Michelle Mista

    I really wish that the production team would just get a clue and let it die. I have no faith that an American remake can do the original story justice. If they want to make an original cyberpunk movie, great. Do it. But be effing original.

    Moving Akira to “Neo Manhattan” and whitewashing the cast (as they were set to do for the last attempt), has the very real possibility of destroying everything that made the original such a hallmark of Japanese cyberpunk. Unless the production team makes some real effort to do the original material justice (which they didn’t in the previous attempts), the existing fanbase for Akira won’t come out to support this.

  • Ohmygod

    That’s a good, bad idea.

    It is like if everybody forgot what happened with Dragon Ball.

    Took the a foreign story, mix it with old slow-mo matrix effects, add guns, add stupid car races, add busty actresses and you’ve got total movie destruction the North American Way.

    damn hollyshit i mean hollywood will destroy it. it has no respect for anything or anyone.

  • Rafael Buxo

    I hope everyone involved in this die of cancer.

  • Todd Horkey

    They should let it stay in Tokyo, I was never a big fan of the slow anime but Tokyo should own it. Lots of good things coming down the line from Japan, Gatchaman and Captain Harlock. I am proud of the powers that be taking an interest in their pop franchises finally instead of USA ripoffs. Hollywood is bankrupt on ideas don’t you know.