‘Akira’ Remake Put on Hold

The fall of our economy has been hard on everyone, including Hollywood, California, that magical place where even the litter is diamond-encrusted. It’s hard to believe, but big-budget studios have taken a pretty noticeable hit in recent years, and revenue continues to fall each year. It always helps to look for the good in bad situations and that’s just what this story is all about.

It looks like Warner Bros. has hit the brakes on Jaume Collet-Serra‘s upcoming adaptation of Akira while they make one last negotiation to work out the on-going budgetary and casting issues that have been plaguing production from the start. The Hollywood Reporter says that a call has been made requesting that the entire crew and production crew drop everything they’re working on until further notice. As one insider put it, “everyone has been sent home.


This would be great news for Akira fans like myself. I’ve made it pretty clear that I’m not a fan of the way the remake was going. Besides some questionable casting decisions and storyline changes, Akira just doesn’t seem like it’s doable in live-action; anime, as you probably know, can go to some pretty wild places from time to time and Akira‘s subject matter requires an extensively realized cyber-punk world. I imagine lowering the budget would make this challenge even more difficult.

Nothing a ton of cheap CGI can’t fix, amirite?

As mentioned above, Warner Bros. had already tried a couple times to whittle down the budget; initially the film was handed to Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli) to direct, with a budget of $180 million. However after he left, he was replaced with Collet-Serra, who lopped the price in half to $90 million. This much lower figure is still a little too high for the W.B. according to this latest news, as they’re supposedly hoping to bring the budget down to between $60 – $70 million.

Above: Warner Bros.

THR reports that some insiders say this could be Akira‘s last shot, and that if the new budget doesn’t get worked out the movie might never see the light of day (fingers crossed), but they also point out that this is a project that has been down and out twice before, and keeps coming back. As one sources told THR, “It’s a very resilient movie […] Warner Bros. just won’t let it die.”

…Let it die, Warner Bros. It’s what it would have wanted.

13 thoughts on “‘Akira’ Remake Put on Hold”

  1. I never really understood the fanboy overreaction to an American Akira. Sure, odds are it’s not going to be any good, but you’re not going to be forced to watch it, the animated movie and comics are stil going to be around and might get some super deluxe blu-rays (perhaps even with the way better 1990 English voice-over) and awesome hardcover slipcase editions. Plus, many movie goers will probably never see the animated movie due to Weeaboos making watching Japanese cartoons seem like some kind of fucked up perversion, so a live action remake could quite possibly the only form of exposure to many for such a cool story. And finally, this remake could persuade a large number of people to seek out the original that would have otherwise never given it a thought. It’s cool though, it’s better not to generate millions of dollars in revenue, put working class citizens to work on a big movie set and movie theaters and maybe help retail sales with tie-in merchandise than anger a few thousand fanboys on a message board.

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  2. “a live action remake could quite possibly the only form of exposure to many for such a cool story.”

    I agree with you there, and that’s my issue. If the remake sucks it’s all most people will know. I can tell you from personal experience how much more difficult it is to tell people about ‘Avatar’ ever since The Last Airbender came out.

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  3. But even then, it’s not really that big of a deal, if it sucks it sucks, and even if it’s a fantastic reinterpretation, those people that would only have seen the live action movie will still have only seen the live action movie. It’s high time people face the facts that you can’t capture you’re personal experiences in a bottle and let people drink from your bottle and experience the exact same thing. Someone not liking something that another does isn’t some horrible blight on the human condition, better to broaden the exposure of something for a far greater audience to enjoy something than limit it to a niche market that attempts to exclude everyone who doesn’t feel the same way they do.

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  4. You’re projecting too hard with your fanboy hate-thing again. Keep in mind I’m not that big a fan of Akira – I already mentioned in my first Akira article that I saw the original movie so long ago I barely remember what happened.

    My issue isn’t that Hollywood is ruining a nostalgic memory I have, or a cherished product I want for myself. I am, however, an admitted cynic about the way Hollywood makes movies and this production appears to be just as passionless and formulaic as so many others. And it’s a shame because the original movie felt so much like the opposite of that.

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  5. The sad thing is that many feel that Hollywood is in fact, somehow sullying the memories they have of a cherished product, when the only person who can actually sully the memory is the individual who places it on a pedestal. And I too am really jaded when it comes to movies- I’m convinced that the Avengers is going to be some lame snark-fest that’s more concerned with character growth than awesome action-but not every remake or re-imagining ends up being shit. Sometimes they end up being fantastic- if Hollywood never modernized or westernized anything we wouldn’t have The Departed, The Magnificent Seven, West Side Story or the Dollars Trilogy (Okay, it’s Italian, but still a white-washed remake). In the end, people killed this before they even gave it a chance.

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  6. I agree that it’s silly to let nostalgia or possessiveness get in the way of objectivity, but that’s human nature: We get attached to something and cherish it over all other imitations. Without that bias, we’d all be polygamists who swap our kids like baseball cards.

    Speaking of which, say you had a beautiful baby daughter. You loved that little girl from the day she was born and every time you sat down to play with her you saw some new little nuance, just one more facet that made you appreciate her from a whole new perspective. You saw this happen again and again until before you knew it, she was a three-dimensional, multifaceted, wonderful young woman.

    Now your daughter’s 19, she’s gone away to college and she has her own life. You pick up the old photos and home movies every now and then every time you do you recapture the magic of seeing your daughter for the very first time, only now you already appreciate all the special, beautiful things that make her unique.

    And all of a sudden, one day you hear a knock at your door and when you open it you see some other woman at your door. She says she’s your daughter but she barely looks like the one you remember; her eyes are almost right, but they look kind of dead. One of her arms is missing. Her feet are purple for some reason, even though there’s no reason for them to be purple. This faux-daughter moves in with you for a few months and tries to do all those old things you two used to do together but it never feels right.

    Then the season passes and she leaves. You flip through the photo albums and put on the home movies again and everything’s great, but somewhere in the back of your mind you can’t completely ignore the image of that misshapen thing that showed up on your doorstep one day.

    That is how a remake feels.

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  7. AKIRA sucked boys. A live action movie would’ve sucked even more. We likely dodged a bullet. That said, I have no problem with most remakes of foreign movies because I often don’t want to watch subtitles. I really liked THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, but have no desire to see the original version even though I’ve seen both versions of movies like THE VANISHING (French and American) and the French one was much better.

    And as far as ‘fanboy outrage’ I respect people who are passionate about things they love, and Toni’s constant attacks on ‘Fanboys’ really irk me. I feel like I’m justified in being pissed about movies like BATMAN AND ROBIN because I’ve supported the character for years and truly care about him, and I feel as a fan I deserve better. It’s easy to say ‘fuck the fanboys’, but without these people those movies don’t get made. It’s simple customer service. I sell mattresses, if I have good repeat customers, I’m not gonna put out a product that intentionally insults them. I’m gonna put out the best product I can, knowing they will support me, and hope to attract new business in addition, not take for granted that they will show up.

    Furthermore, from this day forward, anytime Toni feels the need to include a disparaging remarks about FANBOYS, I will replace it with a random word of my choosing, because I’m a fascist dickhead.

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  8. First Wozz, comparing a movie to the profound love one has for their child is silly and hollow and is in no way comparable to a movie. Anyone who would love their child less due to physical deformity is an asshole, pure and simple- just because your child is different doesn’t persuade you to love them any less. A remake of a movie is still a goddamn movie, it’s two hours of moving pictures, a remake might not be as good, but you can always still rewatch the original because a remake does not undo the original, at all. Having a Big Carl does not eliminate the prospects of the continual enjoyment of a Big Mac.

    And you’re wrong Kronner, Fan Boys do not make movies, executives and film crews do, Fan boys meerly claim ownership of the creation. You are completely justified in thinking Batman and Robin sucked, because it did. But you are not entitled to better, nothing is owed to you by this corporate monolith who churned out a shitty product, and it wasn’t done with the intention to spite you or any Batman fan; it just happened to be a bad product in your opinion and in the opinions of many others. Nobody intends to make a shitty product, it just happens due to a multitude of reasons.

    And again, my problem isn’t with fans in general, just the more rabid fringe of fandom- the fan boy. Liking Batman and comics and what not is fine by me, I love Batman, I love Daredevil, Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who, Scrooge McDuck and TMNT along with many other things. However, I realize I don’t own these things, I merely own my memories and am very fond of the experiences provided to me by these works of fiction, but there are many others that have had similar yet very different experiences with the same franchises and their joys and foibles of my beloved characters is just as valid as mine. A fan boy however, is vehement in his singular experience and feels that any deviation from what he feels is right is blasphemey and shouldn’t be allowed to exist, that no one should be given cadence to have joy from his precious show or comic book. To me a fan boy is someone who makes fiction set in stone and turns it from a story into gospel; muc like how the Tea Party is a far fringe contingent that is so vocal it drowns out the more reasonable voive of the remaining Republican party, the fan boy is so loud and adamant he invariably misrepresents the large core audience by making the most noise. So it’s not the fan boy that makes things happen, it’s the more casual fan, they guy who watched the X-Men cartoon growing up and even though the movie is a little different from the cartoon is willing to give the flick a shot because it looks cool and might be a fun thing to do with his kid. The fan boy is the jerk who hates the new costume so fucking much and can’t believe they’d leave out Angel in the first film because that’s what happened in the comics and blah blah blah blah sips a goddamn mountain dew and still sees the movie. And we all are guilty of this, I’m going to piss and moan about how I think Joss Whedon is going to go light on the action and overboard with the banter in The Avengers, and I’ll still see it, but if it’s cool, I’ll eat my goddamn hat, if it is rife with snarky dialogue and character evelopment and lax in action, I’ll say I told you so, because I’m a fan. A Fanboy is going to be livid about the lack of Ant-Man and the fact that Hawkeye isn’t a villain and will continue with his insular mindset that excludes everyone but himself, so yes fuck Fan Boys.

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    1. You must have totally misunderstood my metaphor because your argument doesn’t make any sense. I never said anything about caring less about a disfigured child, the point was that something similar to, but inherently different than something you love is always going to feel inferior.

      And yes my metaphor was unbalanced, of course a living person bears more weight than a series of moving pictures. The point of a metaphor is to emphasize things, make them more clear. Analogizing an idea to something of equal importance would be redundant.

      And no, a Big Carl would not tarnish the taste of a Big Mac, but it would surely affect your opinion of a hamburger in general. Similarly, The Phantom Menace doesn’t make Empire Strikes Back suck, but it certainly reduced my respect for the Star Wars saga as a whole.

      And in the end, you’re yelling at ghosts here – I can understand your frustration with fanboys. They can be delusional and incapable of looking at things objectively. It’s infuriating – but you’re talking vaguely about no one in particular. It’s easy to say that fanboys do all kinds of awful things, but so far your rants have been about some hypothetical basement-dwelling stereotype.

      Oh and I’m going to probably cause a secondary argument here, because I totally want to see more character interaction than explosions in The Avengers. The only reason I’m not incredibly excited about Joss Whedon directing is that I think the movie’s below him and could hurt his reputation (I’m stoked for The Avengers, and love almost all the individual heroes’ movies, don’t get me wrong).

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      1. My rant is more toward many other websites that fuel the fan-boy ire have been negative towards the Akira remake from the get-go, ignoring all the good it could do for the books and the animation by creating a greater degree of exposure and instead fixating on stupid shit-like that perhaps someone from Twilight might have been in the movie.
        My gripe with the child metaphor is that a disfigured child isn’t something different, it’s the same thing, and more importantly a human being is in a constant state of flux, they change they grow and you grow along with them. A change in a person is expected, and yes some are more tragic than others, but the core essence of a human is always there. I used the burger argument because the Big Carl is essentially a remake of the Big Mac that is enjoyable for what it is, but greatly inferior to the original- I don’t bemoan Big C for its lack of a third bun, but I’ll still gave it a shot, because it could have been better the same way the Watchmen movie is actually better than Watchmen the comic (Neither are that spectacular by the way)

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  9. And if you wanna put in a word filter go ahead, because Fascism on a message board is pretty cool beans in my book. It’s your site, I just lurk here.

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  10. This is a reply to Toni’s latest comment, for some reason I can’t directly reply to it.

    Anyway, I’m sorry Toni, I just realized the miscommunication all comes from the wording of my metaphor. I didn’t mean to insinuate that the ‘daughter’ comes back different. I meant that it’s a completely different girl, or thing meant to look like the actual one. That’s the part that bothers me: That they’re slapping a label on it and telling you it’s that thing you love when you can see it’s clearly not. I guess the same way that at Big Carl burger may be trying to capture the same thing as a Big Mac (I don’t have Big Carl in Canada, so this is all jibberish to me, lol) and that’s totally cool. But if Big Carl handed you one of their burgers and told you it was a Big Mac, that would be an insult to your intelligence.

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