Anime Vice News

Hughes Brothers No Longer Directing Akira

But the project's still going on!

Tetsuo's calling the shots now!
Tetsuo's calling the shots now!

These behind-the-scenes developments are making for their own kind of winding motorcycle chase through the streets of Neo Tokyo. Deadline’s reported that the Hughes Brothers have now withdrawn from the live-action AKIRA movie and are already reading some scripts to do as a new project for Warner Bros. The project’s still moving ahead, however, with the studio currently looking for a new name to take a seat in the currently-vacant director’s chairs.

When last we heard about the project, Keanu Reeves was reportedly mulling over the lead role. Apparently, he’s stepped back from it, as well, so I imagine the whole project’s nature is being reconsidered. Considering how ambitious the project is - - and how enormous the budget is already expected to be - - I imagine they might start thinking of ways to scale it back a little.

You know what, now that the slate’s all-but-totally blank for this, let’s put all of you lunatics into the fantasy executive producer’s chair. If the rails were already laid down for a live action AKIRA movie to be made, who would you want directing and starring in it? In the interest of fun, I will tolerate no “none of the above” answers from anybody.

Nightwolfon May 27, 2011 at 12:33 a.m.
Looks like the Akira movie is gonna die.
Kou_Leifohon May 27, 2011 at 1:51 a.m.
Please cancel this project.
FoxxFireArt moderator on May 27, 2011 at 2:27 a.m.
This does look to be having a slow death. They actually talked about this movie on last week's Comic Vine podcast. Sara expressed a thought that I've been having about such movies for a long time. Why can't they just get an Asian actor to play the lead role? Why do they just keep white washing all these sorts of films? A good example is Prince of Persia. Yeah, the movie was kind of stupid, but I spent those first few minutes trying to figure out why Oliver Twist was running through the streets of Persia.

I didn't care as much about who was directing. I just didn't want to see Reeves in the lead. Production companties don't tell me they are taking these movies seriously when they keep casting the mono-toned wonder for all these live-action animes.
I can almost guaranty you that they will try and make this movie a 3-D heavy film. I just don't see why they are married to the idea of a Live-Action. I'd rather see a sort of Evangelion Rebuild of the original.
PenguinDuston May 27, 2011 at 5:39 a.m.
Put a bullet in it and end this project since Hollywood doesn't seem to trust the audience to make the movie as it should be, that is set in "Neo-Tokyo" and starring at the very least 3 Asian actors in the rolls of Kaneda, Tetsuo and Kei (oh and Akira himself, too).  If Hollywood needs movie stars then fill the other roles like the colonel, the mayor and any of the various doctors with your Justin Timberlakes, Brad Pitts and Joaquin Phoenixes.  

I understand the bean-counters' reluctance to star unknown (in all likelihood) actors as the major characters, after all they haven't had much luck with unfamiliar sci-fi/comic films in recent years.  Last Airbender, Prince of Persia, Scott Pilgrim and The Green Hornet all underperformed at the box-office.  And that lack of courage was going to create something that was "Akira" only in title.  I'm glad the film project has gone back into limbo.  

The only downside is that if Hollywood would actually use Asian actors then this would be a good piece to showcase their talents to a wide audience.  It wasn't going to happen that way, but it would have been nice if it had. 
sotyfan16on May 27, 2011 at 6:18 p.m.
@PenguinDust said:
Put a bullet in it and end this project since Hollywood doesn't seem to trust the audience to make the movie as it should be, that is set in "Neo-Tokyo" and starring at the very least 3 Asian actors in the rolls of Kaneda, Tetsuo and Kei (oh and Akira himself, too).  If Hollywood needs movie stars then fill the other roles like the colonel, the mayor and any of the various doctors with your Justin Timberlakes, Brad Pitts and Joaquin Phoenixes.  

I understand the bean-counters' reluctance to star unknown (in all likelihood) actors as the major characters, after all they haven't had much luck with unfamiliar sci-fi/comic films in recent years.  Last Airbender, Prince of Persia, Scott Pilgrim and The Green Hornet all underperformed at the box-office.  And that lack of courage was going to create something that was "Akira" only in title.  I'm glad the film project has gone back into limbo.  

The only downside is that if Hollywood would actually use Asian actors then this would be a good piece to showcase their talents to a wide audience.  It wasn't going to happen that way, but it would have been nice if it had. 
I second this. I have no knowledge of Asian actors outside martial arts films so I can't suggest possible people for the roles. For the director, however, I'd suggest Roland Emmerich (Independence Day and The Patriot). I feel like he is due for another decent movie and he has experience with action and sci-fi.

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