There Will Be Turd

October 24, 2011

The live-action, Hollywood remake of Akira will be completely and utterly shite. Of course, this was all but inevitable yet somehow the effluent trickle of horrid details surrounding this proposed cinematic-abortion can still provoke an animal response of snarling hostility amongst fans of the original anime, such as yours truly.

Tetsuo hears about the Hollywood remake

Controversy had already arisen when it emerged some time ago that Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures intended to use an all-American, distinctly non-Asian, cast for the characters of Akira although whilst seemingly maintaining the original character names like Shōtarō Kaneda, Tetsuo Shima, and Colonel Shikishima. This prompted an online campaign, the “Don’t Whitewash Akira” – Virtual Petition, that demonstrated merely that there were at least 20,000 Facebook users that a big Hollywood studio would directly piss all over and still confidently expect decent box-office returns nonetheless. Meanwhile, the list of rumoured actors linked to major roles in the film ranged from the horrifying (Zac Efron) to the downright bizarre (47-year-old Keanu Reeves for the role of Kaneda, a teenage biker still in high school), with Garret Hedlund being the most recent name attached to the project (y’know, because he rode a futuristic bike in Tron Legacy). Rather than the famed original setting of Neo-Tokyo this flick will reportedly now be set in some dystopian future Manhattan. It remains to be seen whether that will entail westernizing the character names, in a film called ‘Akira’ (for fuck’s sake).

Now Variety has reported that the film is going ahead with a reduced budget and has named the director attached to the project.

Warner Bros. taps ‘Unknown’ director for ‘Akira’

Warner Bros. is moving ahead with its remake of “Akira” in a fiscally sensible way, tapping reliable Spanish helmer Jaume Collet-Serra (“Orphan,” “Unknown”) to direct a live-action version of the anime cult hit at a lower revised budget of $90 million.

In other words, Collet-Serra, the man whose debut feature was the remake of House of Wax starring Paris Hilton, is a small-time director easily controlled by the studio and whatever demands it makes and unlikely to be in possession of a thoughtful and impassioned vision for bringing this beloved tale to the big screen. They’re going ahead on a budget that’s at least $100 million dollars short of what it needs to be and about a dozen different hired scribes have been submitting drafts and polishing each other’s scripts, meaning there is a ragtag collection of ideas being thrown together for the screenplay with the hope that it will all work out somewhat coherent in the end. I can barely manage to peer at the details of this gruesome, upcoming shit-show through the gaps of my fingers. Is there any chance someone could start an Occupy Hollywood movement with the clear and concise demand that they stop doing this shit? Decently-made movies are a small thing to ask for.



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