Ok, this has got to be one of the coolest things I’ve read about today. Apparently, mad, scheming scientist bent on creating powerful cyborgs (who will one day take over the world and enslave us all) have been busy again. Or, perhaps they are just well-meaning scientists hoping to cure blindness. Regardless, of who they are, this is still awesome.
As I’ve fervently opined heretofore, the American studio adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo‘s cyberpunk anime classic, Akira, was a fantastically terrible idea, particularly in how the studio was set to dumb down its stirring and cerebral philosophical underpinnings; as well as attenuate its inherently violent aesthetic to better suit mainstream, PG-13-friendly audiences in the Occident.
Imagine my schadenfreude when confirmed news of the adaptation’s demise leaked through the InterWebs yesterday, beginning with Borys Kit’s report via HollywoodReporter.com.
We know that Warner Bros. is aggressively moving forward on a live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo‘s classic manga Akira. Albert Hughes will direct the film from a script that has passed through the hands of several screenwriters, most recently landing on the desk of Harry Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves. He’ll rewrite and then casting can get underway in earnest. (There have been many casting rumblings already, and we don’t know if this rewrite is motivated by failed attempts to land big names, as has been suggested.)
Meanwhile, a few pages from an earlier draft have been sent out to casting agencies, and have also ended up on the web. Hardcore Akira fans will liekyl find the contents to be a mixed bag.
io9 got the pages, and later verified that, yes, they are from an early Akira draft, but that “the version of the script that Kloves is rewriting is reportedly a lot different, although it’s possible that some of these ideas still remain.”
So think positive. There is some bad stuff here, but also the very good possibility that it has all hit the wastebin; with luck these pages went out to casting agencies just to get across the idea of the world and the characters.
This is a nightmare.
Another rumor which is making the tracking board rounds today is that Zac Efron has apparently been offered the lead role in Albert Hughes’ upcoming live-action adaptation of the popular anime/Katsuhiro Otomo‘s six-volume manga Akira. I’m not able to confirm the offer, but one source tells me Efron is in talks, while another says that it is “far from a done deal.”
As effused heretofore in my previous harangue in July, this is a predictably aesthetic misfire, one of post-apocalyptic proportions. (Apparently) since July, the casting and writing talent rumors have gotten scarier and hairier.
Sure, call me an Akira purist, but anyone who’s at the least remotely affectionate of Katsuhiro Otomo‘s original cyberpunk serial manga (1980) and his subsequent anime film adaptation (1988) will know that all the wrong kinds of people are getting behind this pop-westernized (a.k.a., Neanderthaloid) live action production rather than the right ones.
Yet, the more sacrilegious this production rumor mill gets the more likely it will make a lot of money in America.
Yes, you know it will make a lot of money. Why? Because it’s us North Americans that give the studios behind popcorn smegma like Saw 3D $24.2M at the box office (since its wide release on October 29th); and Jackass 3-D $101.7M (since its wide release on October 15th).
Now, isn’t Zac Efron the tween heartthrob responsible for that mega-single, One Time? No wait, that was Justin Bieber.
Today on AnimeNewsNetwork:
Kon first drew worldwide attention with his feature film directorial debut, the psychological suspense film Perfect Blue, in 1997. He would follow that with a string of critically acclaimed anime projects: Millennium Actress (2001), Tokyo Godfathers (2003), Paranoia Agent (2004), and Paprika (2006). At the time of his passing, Kon was working at MADHOUSE on a new feature film called Yume-Miru Kikai.
ANN interviewed Kon in 2008 as he was beginning work on Yume-Miru Kikai.
He was only 47.
The industry has lost one of its vanguards.