Akira is considered by many as the animé that kicked off the genre's popularity in North America and other parts of the world. At the moment, we understand Warner Bros. is working on a live-action film, but nothing much has been seen of it until now.
Irish filmmaker Ruairí Robinson recently posted a video on Vimeo that should be viewed as a proof of concept for Akira. It basically means the video should give viewers an idea of what they should expect from the film whenever it is released.
Warner Bros., in wanting to secure the rights of the movie, asked Robinson to create this proof of concept, which is basically a reel of several movie scenes, including that of Akira, stitched together. However, the company has allowed the filmmaker to add a short original concept that is the best representation of what fans should be expecting.
The reel begins with scenes from Katsuhiro Otomo's 1988 Japanese animated classic then rolls into the realm of live action with scenes from the likes of the Matrix and other hot movies in the past. At the 3:57-minute mark, we get to see the first real footage of Akira outside of animation.
The whole thing is just glorified test footage so fans won't see the exact thing in the film but similar. It shows the huge crater and Kaneda on his motorcycle, among other neat things. No doubt, we enjoyed it very much despite the short length.
We should point out that this Akira movie will not be set in Japan, which means New Tokyo is a no go. From what we can tell, the movie will be set in New Manhattan. This makes us believe the characters will not be Asian, but white, so fans should expect a movie called Akira but with a different setting and characters with different names.
The reason Warner Bros. is not going with the real setting is all due to budget.
"Purists may balk at the 'New Manhattan' in the trailer (this reverted to New Tokyo very soon afterwards by the first draft of the script)," says Robinson. "Unfortunately, they couldn't get the budget under 200 million bucks for that draft, which was a bit rich for what was proposed as an R-rated movie with no stars."
"But if nothing else, hell, at least I cut a pretty cool trailer for the original anime."
Banzai Hiroaki | Flickr
Ken Akira Club | Flickr