Don't expect the AKIRA adaptation to be too faithful to the source material

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Love it or hate it, but there will be a movie adaptation made of Akira one of these days. The cult classic comic and Anime film set a new benchmark in quality and storytelling when it was released way back in 1988.

Ever since then, Hollywood has been trying to release a live action version, with Warner Bros just failing to understand what made the film so popular in the first place. And with the latest draft now getting some attention, don’t expect this one to be too faithful to the source material either.

Akira (2)

Director Jaume Collet-Serra has his eyes on directing Akira for his next project, having boarded the pre-production project way back in 2011. Collet-Serra still wants to respect the original source material, but as he explained to Coming Soon, that doesn’t mean that he’ll adapt it straight from the page.

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.

Of course, one big change will be in the casting of the various characters, who will most likely have very little resemblance in looks or personality to the original cast:

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.

Nobody’s interesting [in the anime]. 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.

Collet-Serra makes a valid point. Just look at the recent Marvel movies for example. Those flicks have managed to keep the best bits of source material intact, while dismissing elements that would be problematic. That’s keeping the spirit of a property intact.

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There’ll still be a ton of fan hate no matter what Collet-Serra does on this film. So what the hell, I’ll bite. I’ll wait and see what his vision entails. Son long as he at least keeps Kaneda’s bad-ass bike in the picture, I’ll be happy.

Last Updated: February 11, 2014

Darryn Bonthuys

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