You might be forgiven for assuming the Akira live-action remake has crashed and burned irreparably, but it seems Warner are still attempting to kick-start the difficult production with some new life.
The live-action adaptation has been over at Warner Bros. for years. A long list of stars and filmmakers have been attached to the project, but just as soon as we hear that someone has been connected, we inevitably hear they've left for some reason or another. Currently, Orphan director Jaume Collet-Serra is attached to direct, but today we've heard [Edge of Tomorrow](movie:267902) scribe, Dante Harper has been hired to write the script.
Harper provided the first spec script for Edge of Tomorrow, one of this year's standout science fiction movies. The Tom Cruise starring flick might not have done incredibly at the box office, but it did receive surprisingly strong reviews, and I can personally testify to its awesomeness. However, scripting duties were later completed by Christoper McQuarrie and others, so it's unclear how much of Harper's involvement was present in the final film. Indeed, the fact it was rewritten - although commonplace in Hollywood - does not inspire a great amount of confidence.
The last we heard, After Earth's Gary Whitta had provided a script which saw Neo-Tokyo relocated to a Manhattan Island which had been sold to the Japanese. It is still unclear if this is the story Harper will be working on or whether this concept has been scrapped. Apparently, one of the biggest issues identified by Whitta was transplanting an adult-orientated and violent manga, for the below R-rated American audience.
Collet-Serra has previously stated that he sees any live-action [Akira](movie:21743) movie as hopefully kick-starting a trilogy of movies. However, even Collet-Serra nearly backed away from the project due to concerns with the script. All of this does not particular bode well, does it?
Of course, the big issue is this: Do we really need a live-action, Americanized version of Akira? Many dedicated fans of the original might be unwilling to see the classic re-hashed into the American PG-13 action market, which isn't exactly known for delivering great remakes. Collet-Serra has said his version will not be a straight beat-for-beat remake, but will instead work off the 'spirit' of Akira. Personally, I think this is a nice way of saying their taking a highly recognizable name and making their own movie off of the back of it.
With Akira still apparently stalling at the starting gates, I do not imagine we'll he hearing much in terms of progress any time soon, although this news does at least confirm the project still has a slice of Warner's attention.
How would you like to see the live-action Akira delivered?