Albert Hughes Confirms Akira Will be PG-13 and a Two-Parter


It wasn’t that long ago that “Book of Eli” director Albert Hughes, along with his brother Allan, were attached to direct Warner Bros.’ live-action take on the popular Japanese manga and subsequent anime “Akira”, both by Katsuhiro Ôtomo. In a recent interview, Hughes has confirmed that Warner is looking at (nay, they are demanding) that the film be PG-13, and a two-parter.

In the interview, Hughes seems resigned to the PG-13 part, though isn’t too sure about the two-parter, well, part. He also adds that he wants to “simplify” the story for the audience, though what that means is anybody’s guess. Dumbing down, perhaps? They are going PG-13, after all, so they’re already courting the kids.

The fact is, “Akira” is such an epic story, it’s ridiculous to even think about translating it into a single movie. At the very least, it has to be two films, shot similar to Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” movies, with the first part setting up the second.

Over at Collider, producer Andrew Lazar says as much, including the news that a new writer has been brought onboard, and that “conceptualization” on the film has begun. He also confirms that the film will be in two parts, with volumes 1 through 3 of the original manga making up the first movie, and volumes 4 through 6 going into the second film.

Whatever happens, they absolutely must have the Clown motorcycle fight at the beginning. Without that, why even bother?

Author: Nix

Editor/Writer at Likes: long walks on the beach and Kevin Costner post-apocalyptic movies. Dislikes: 3D, shaky cam, and shaky cam in 3D. Got a site issue? Wanna submit Movie/TV news? Or to email me in regards to anything on the site, you can do so at nix (at)
  • Dominique

    Wow, again with this “demanding a PG-13 rating” thing? Jeez, I swear just because THE DARK KNIGHT was effective doesn't mean every movie can have the same rating and do as well. I mean, have they even seen the anime? With the level of violence and blood that thing has I don't see how they're going to pull this off without completely neutering the source material.

    Btw, all of the Hughes Brothers' films thus far have been rated R (MENACE II SOCIETY, DEAD PRESIDENTS, FROM HELL, AMERICAN PIMP, THE BOOK OF ELI) and it's something that the brothers do very well. Hell, even THE BOOK OF ELI wasn't as hard an R as say MENACE II SOCIETY so why can't they just go that route? I usually try to cut Hollywood some slack but this is getting ridiculous…

  • Dedpool aka Jiinx

    Agreed!! The thing is like Nix said this d=film is too epic for one film, and if the director isn't going stick around for the second part cause he doesn't do sequels thats just stupid. It's not even a sequel, its the second half of the story.

    As for simplifying the story, that's probably a good thing to a point. I don't want it dumbed down but like “Matrix Reloaded” it gets a bit heady and expostional towards the middle with how Tetsuo, and the others have powers. I'd say keep it to the psychic potential/experimentation aspect and keep it simple.

    But here's my biggest gripe…is the “whitewashing” the movie will receive. Yes I know I defended “Prince of Persia” which I saw and loved, and “Last AIrbender” which I look forward to, but in dfense I stated that both were fantasy. “Last Airbender” never states WHERE it takes place so to me though influenced by asian cultures I felt a bit more diversity was acceptible. If they were all represented by Korean, Thai, Japanese and Chinese people respectively, you'd lose a bit of the visual diversity of the races. I mean granted clothing and such would change but it'd never really look like we changed countries, but just changed regions in the same country. The same could be said if the original series was based on African culutre. Sure their clothes and dialect may change from country to country yet if they were all in the same city that would get lost a bit. With “PoP” I just know how hollywood does things, and getting mad wasn't gonna help. The british accent thinfg is what they do for any ancient civilization. Look at “13th Warrior.” But with Akira it is FIRMLY established when and WHERE it takes place. The idea of using New Manhattan instead of Neo Tokyo irks me. I'd deal but I'd be bitching the whole time. I'm firmly of the belief of the two major classics that made anime big in the U.S. this was the one that shoulda been left alone. “Ninja Scroll” on the other hand is plausible. Especially after seeing “Shinobi:Heart Under Blade”

    “Whatever happens, they absolutely must have the Clown motorcycle fight at the beginning. Without that, why even bother?” YOU GOT THAT RIGHT!!!!

  • thestrongestthereis

    simply put, this guy and everyone else involved in this production should be shot in the front of the face. No PG13, No compromise on material, and no watering down. Didn't these people ever hear the phrase “If you can't do it right, Dont do it at all”. I am usually a bit more eloquent in my rants but F that! These people are going too far now. Its not because its an anime that im mad, its because of the blatant disrespect they are already showing it and they haven't even really begun. The only good thing about this project that I've heard, and i dont know if its even true anymore, was the casting of Joseph Gordon Levitt as Tetsuo. Either way, To hell with this director and everyone who is allowing this to happen with their money.

  • Dedpool aka Jiinx

    I liked the idea of Levitt as Tetsuo…if he's not Tetsuo. If Levitt and DiCaprio get cast they need the names changed, I'm sorry. No way am I buying these two as Japanese-Americans or something. So yeah I'm going with the “If you can't do it right…” mantra. I'm definitely not an advocate for dumbing it down at all, just making it slightly less complicated when it comes to the metaphysical aspects of the explanations (Like the scene in the jail cell, to this day that makes my head hurt). But yeah this has travesty written all over it. It's a truly epic story that needs to be told in an epic way.

  • thestrongestthereis

    The story has such close ties with the country and its cultural development and fears that we as a nation don't understand,and due to historical atrocities, could never understand, To put this in any other setting doesn't hold the same weight. If my memory serves, they want to put it in “New Manhattan” as opposed to Neo Tokyo…Fail!…This is raising my blood pressure. All that really needs to be said is that this production is a mistake. People like to hate on Keanu Reeves, but at least he wants to remake it using the director and writer of the anime and has even already spoken to and word is “secured” the same team of musicians. That is how you show respect for someone's IP. This is absolutely ridiculous.

  • Crankgorilla

    I instantly thought of what they did to Dragonball Z. That movie was utter garbage. I think this will end up getting the same treatment.