'Akira’ Live Action Anime Not Releasing Any Date Soon? [SPOILERS]
A live action version of the classic anime Akira has been in the works forever with very little to show for the work put in. Fans of the anime are eagerly anticipating a feature film of the beloved anime but, given the lack of any tangible progress, that may take a while. In a recent interview with Slash Films, screenwriter Gary Whitta talked about his efforts to turn the anime into the real world.
"Well I went into it because I was -- and remain -- such a fan of both the original manga and the anime. I would not have taken the job on if I didn't think there was a way to handle the original material respectfully and to do it some kind of justice," Whitta began.
In looking for the right frame with which to fit the story in, Whitta rejected the convention that Akira was a Japanese story and that there was nowhere else a screenplay could be set. He believed the themes in the manga spoke to the human condition and were thus universal. Whitta underlined this by pointing to the manga and anime's popularity.
That said, he was also very aware and respectful of the story's cultural origins:
"I think we hit upon an idea that would have allowed the story to play to global audiences while staying faithful to its Japanese roots.
Whitta's premise was that in the future, Japan had been forced to deal with an economic and population boom by essentially purchasing an abandoned Manhattan island in a deal with the American government, which itself had been driven close to economic ruin by the destruction of the city of Manhattan in a previous Akira story. What had once been Manhattan became Japanese sovereign territory and renamed New Tokyo, with ten million Japanese living there; it just happened to be located on the east coast of the United States. Whitta thought this would be a unique way to mix East and West and use a wider variety of actors as well.
The production team was not as keen. Gary Whitta was replaced and there is still no live action version of Akira.© 2016 The Classical Art, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.