The anime film Akira is well known as one of the best and most popular Japanese animated films ever. It seems like a no-brainer that someone would have made it into a live-action movie already, but the progress has been very slow. For anyone who doesn’t know, here are the basics of the Akira story. Tetsuo and Kaneda are teenage biker gang members in the city of Neo-Tokyo. Tetsuo is thrown into a sprawling mystery of government experiments and psychic powers. Tetsuo gains powerful and dangerous psychic abilities. Kaneda tries to stop his friend from destroying Tokyo. The 1988 animated Akira is considered a milestone in Japanese anime and credited for the expansion of anime popularity outside of Japan.
The journey to live-action has been two steps forward and three steps back. Warner Brothers owns the western live-action rights and apparently they have considered pretty much everyone in Hollywood. Directors like Christopher Nolan, Justin Lin, and George Miller have all been linked to the production but nothing arose. Writers like Rogue One’s Gary Whitta and The Dark Knight’s Jonathan Nolan were also supposedly attached at one point. Lately, talk of the live-action Akira production had died down and it seemed like it would be one of those projects that just never got off the ground.
It seems that Warner Brothers isn’t giving up though. A new rumor says that they are in talks with two new directors for the movie. Daniel Espinosa, director of Life, and David Sandberg, director of Lights Out, are both said to be in consideration to lead this film into theaters. With Scarlett Johansson’s Ghost in the Shell in theaters, the future of live-action anime adaptations could become the next big thing. The early reviews for this 2017 Ghost in the Shell have praised the visuals but come down pretty hard on the story. You can’t deny Scarlett’s star power or the pull of a sexy action film on movie-going audiences. If Ghost in the Shell rakes in the cash, you can bet that adaptations of classics like Akira will get fast-tracked and become real possibilities.
So, what do you think? Are you excited for a live-action Akira?