Anime, Film Commentary

More fodder for why the live-action adaptation of Akira is going to suck ass

November 5, 2010

Peter Sciretta of /Film conjectures:

Another rumor which is making the tracking board rounds today is that Zac Efron has apparently been offered the lead role in ’ upcoming live-action adaptation of the popular anime/Katsuhiro Otomo‘s six-volume manga . 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.

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4 Comments

  • Reply Mario A. Munoz November 5, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    Who would make for a good lead? Not a lot of young actors that can fit the bill these days.

  • Reply Richard Sanchez November 5, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Good question. One that I can’t really answer, except that I could never envision Akira working as a live-action film anyway, at least not with Otomo’s ’80s-era cyberpunk aesthetic in mind. Still, if any one were to make Akira a faithful live-action re-creation, then Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead, 300, Watchmen) might actually be fit for the task. He was able to capture the dated 80s aesthetic inherent to Watchmen, for instance, as well as the socio-political atmosphere/rhetoric that fueled the subtext in Moore’s writing. He embraced it and took a puritanical approach to the source material that some critics felt didn’t translate well to film. Still, considering how cerebral the source material was, he did a good job of it. I’d rather it be “faithful and flawed” than “filmic and stupid.”

  • Reply Akira adaptation moving forward with a possible re-write (false sense of hope) « In Harsh Light March 2, 2011 at 10:59 pm

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  • Reply Warner Bros Pulls the Plug On Live-Action Adaptation of Akira « In Harsh Light January 6, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    […] 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. […]

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