Comics Alliance and several other sources confirmed today that the Live Action Akira project has been shelved (probably for good).
If you've been keeping up with our coverage of the project over the past couple of months, you probably know that most fans were in no way excited for the would-be live action adaptation headed up by Leonardo DiCaprio's production company.
Honestly, I would have been able to accept a lot if the film was handled well...but where I drew the line was the complete tearing apart of the plot and the fact that they never even thought of consulting the still-alive creator and creative team that worked on the original manga and movie. This adaptation honestly could have been awesome - but the studio made wrong turns at nearly every major decision. The casting rumors (though unconfirmed) were the worst - that damned sparkly vampire from Twilight...ugh!
It was reported that Director Albert Hughes walked away in May and that Keanu Reeves refused the offer to play the leading role of Kaneda. This just confirms to me that the project was so terrible that nobody wanted it anywhere near their names. (In the words of Ted Theodore Logan, this project was "Bogus!")
More shocking is that creative designer Chris Weston was asked on one of his first days of work to re-design the trademarked red motorcycle. Re-design?!? That's insane! Has anybody out there noticed that the image of the famous motorcycle is what the movie is most commonly associated with, even after more than 20 years since the film's release!?
Weston admitted that he was "horrified" and did not want to stray from the original design, but the studio pushed him forward and apparently somewhere in Hollywood there are concept drawings of the new bike. I would be curious to see them but am also pretty glad that they'll probably never see the light of day.
So, what do you think? What would you have wanted to see in a live action Akira film? (I for one would want a gritty, futuristic Tokyo to fit with Otomo's inspirational art and imagination.) Sound off in the comments below!