After years and years of possible remakes, cancellations and scaling down there’s hope once again that we will see Akira adapted to a full-blown trilogy movie series. Now a cult classic, the animated Japanese cyberpunk action film directed by Katsuhiro Otomofilm was released in 1988, became a hugely popular cult film and is widely considered to be a landmark in Japanese animation.
We’ve had our share of setbacks though, the latest was back in 2011 when director Jaume Collet-Serra was attached to direct it with Garrett Hedlund taking on the role of Kaneda. The movie was then put on hold after the studio decided to cut its budget down to only $90 million. Since then the director dropped out of the project, then came back on to try to develop a more scaled down version. The two words we do not want to hear when it comes to Akira, scaled down!
Jaume Collet-Serra sat down with ComingSoon for an interview, and he shed some light on his idea for the movie, and how it still may become a trilogy!
“It’s different, because you have to be respectful of the source material. Otomo adapted his own work from a manga into an anime and both things are completely different and genius. The only way to do a live version of “Akira” is to take the spirit and adapt it. It will be as different as the anime was from the manga.”
The director is asked about the fans, their worries, and how he will maintain the essence of the things we love about Akira without diluting it into essentiallyBlade Runner: Mark 2?
“I think you cannot make a movie about “Akira” and hope that everyone understands it. Like everything else, you have to make three or four movies in one where there’s the essence somewhere. If you’re a fan, you already know what it’s about and you’ll see it’s part of the same world, but trying to oversimplify it would be a mistake. I think if at some point a character tries to explain it to the audience at the end of the second act, that’s a problem. It’s more like an existential opera. It’s something that can only be explained in the manga, and even in the anime it’s hard to follow.”
When asked what he would be bringing to the film that he would specifically make his, the director replied,
“I hope that I can bring strong characters. In the original source material, I don’t think the main characters are the protagonists. What I’m hoping is to bring characters.”
He expanded on that a little saying,
“Nobody’s interesting. Tetsuo’s interesting because weird sh*t happens to him, and Kaneda is so two-dimensional. That’s part of the Japanese culture, they never have strong characters. They’re used as a way to move the other philosophy forward.”
That’s a very interesting statement. He does make a point, but I don’t necessarily agree with it. I think the characters in Akira are extremely interesting. That being said, it would be pretty awesome if he can make them even more interesting. He then concluded the interview by saying,
“Yeah. So hopefully in my version that will be strong, and you’ll have a story that happens in that world that will show you a little bit of the mystery. Then, if you’re interested, they’ll make “Akira 2 & 3” then you can get deeper into it. I love the world, a lot of people love that world, so why wouldn’t we indulge in it a little bit and see how it would be if it was real? Like you say I don’t have to explain everything, but wouldn’t you like to spend two-hours in a world of “Akira” and follow a character and be like, “that’s cool”? That’s all I want to offer, is two-hours in a world you can actually feel. We’re working on it.”
We’re not expecting anything soon, but it does sound like Jaume Collet-Serra is the right guy for the job. One day we will get to see this on the big screen. If done properly this could be one of the best trilogies ever made (for Geeks)! Just knowing that the Akira movie trilogy may still happen is good enough for us at this stage!