What Needs To Happen For The Live Action Akira Movie To Be Made, According To The Creator

Akira anime poster

Hollywood has been trying to make a live-action version of Akira for some time. While the project has never died, neither has it ever made it very far off the ground. The creator of the original manga doesn't have a problem with a remake happening, on one condition. Katsuhiro Otomo was recently asked what he thought of the attempt to a western, live-action, version of his story. Otomo says that's all fine with him, as long as he approves of the film's direction.

If someone wants to do something new with Akira then I am mostly okay with that. As I accepted the offer for a live-action Akira to be made, so I am generally okay with whatever they want to do with it. However, I did give one major condition to a live-action version and that is that I had to check and approve the scenario.

Some degree of script approval is not uncommon when it comes to adaptations of books. Quite often the author of the original work doesn't want the film version to stray too far from the story they wrote, and so some sort of author approval is part of the agreement for the studio to get the film rights in the first place. While Katsuhiro Otomo is fine with others making his story, he tells Forbes, that he's not giving up complete control.

Akira is a cyberpunk story set in a post-World War III Tokyo, where a leader of a biker gang has to stop a friend from using his new found physic abilities to free Akira, a being that previously destroyed the city.

What's most interesting, however, is that while most authors require approval because they want to be sure that their original story isn't torn to shreds, Katsuhiro Otomo apparently, doesn't feel that way. In fact, he's of the opinion that a direct adaptation of his work as a live-action film is probably not the way to go. Not that he has any desire to do it himself.

Personally, I think being entirely bound to the original manga of something like Akira would not make any sense as a movie. As for what I would do in terms of adapting Akira into my own live-action movie, I really don't want to do that. I would much rather do something entirely new and separate.

It makes sense that Katsuhiro Otomo might not expect a live action movie to follow in the footsteps of the previous endeavors. The anime film that he directed based on his own manga made some significant changes from the original comic, if he were to make a live-action version, he'd likely make additional changes on top of that.

For a second it looked like the Akira remake might get a jumpstart recently when the director of Get Out, Jordan Peele, was offered the director's chair. However, Peele ultimately decided he wanted to focus on his own original film ideas, and he turned the film down. Now we wait to see if anybody else wants to give it a try.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.