Hey, Wanna Know How Warner Bros.’ Akira Differs From the Anime? Glad You Asked


Kaneda in Akira (1988) Movie ImageNow that a budget, a director, and a leading man are firmly in place, Warner Bros. is finally moving full-steam ahead on their live-action adaptation of the Japanese manga/anime “Akira”. Garrett Hedlund, as most of you already know, is in the lead as Kaneda, with Kristen Stewart being offered the female lead, and names like Gary Oldman and Ken Watanabe being bandied about as potentially playing The Colonel.

Those are the main characters, of course. There are other, smaller roles that need to be filled, and for those, a casting notice has gone out to prospective actors. Along with said casting notice, we also have more on the plot of the film, which offers up plenty of tweaks to the original storyline. In particular, this Kaneda is not a snot-nosed leader of a bike gang, but instead a … bar owner. Plus, other changes:

Kaneda is a bar owner in Neo-Manhattan who is stunned when his brother, Tetsuo, is abducted by government agents led by The Colonel.

Desperate to get his brother back, Kaneda agrees to join with Ky Reed and her underground movement who are intent on revealing to the world what truly happened to New York City thirty years ago when it was destroyed. Kaneda believes their theories to be ludicrous but after finding his brother again, is shocked when he displays telekinetic powers.

Ky believes Tetsuo is headed to release a young boy, Akira, who has taken control of Tetsuo’s mind. Kaneda clashes with The Colonel’s troops on his way to stop Tetsuo from releasing Akira but arrives too late. Akira soon emerges from his prison courtesy of Tetsuo as Kaneda races in to save his brother before Akira once again destroys Manhattan island, as he did thirty years ago.

Jaume Collet-Serra (“Unknown”) will direct the film, based on the original manga/anime by Katsuhiro Ohtomo.

So, with Kaneda now being all respectful and owning a business and such, does this mean we won’t get a bike fight to open the movie? I guess he COULD still run a bar by day and fight clown gangs by night, but yeah, that would be stretching it a tad.

Via : Bleeding Cool

Author: Nix

Editor/Writer at BeyondHollywood.com. 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) beyondhollywood.com.
  • X_p

    are they gonna keep the japanese names? i dont see a way for them to explain that. also, im still not on board.

  • Camarykaren

    Go to hell Wb. Thanks for screwing up another great Japanese.Anime. what the hell is wrong with the original story

  • Anonymous

    This is absolutely comical! The changes they’ve made are so ridiculous I kinda want to see it, on dvd. I’m sure its going to be a hilarious fail.

    • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

      I agree TSTI! I am all about changes to adapt from one medium to another, and changes to help the story flow betterr, but these are horrible. I mean I understand trying to find a way to explain the semi-convlouted plot of the anime, but still.They found the most generic way of doing it with no real respect for the original story. Sigh. Ah well.

      BTW man you change your email or something? Wrote you but haven’t heard back, or you just busy? I know that feeling.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t care if Kaneda is a bike gang leader or not because they are playing him older. I mean you could advance the original story which has him in his teens about 5-10 years and maybe he owns the bar after he gets out of the gang and straightens up while Tetsuo never grows up and continues the gang despite Kaneda’s objections. That contrast could be cool.

    ALthough I do object about them being blood relatives. I think it is more powerful that they are both orphans and formed a strong bond at the orphanage like the original story.

  • Shazam!

    Has this been confirmed by the studio yet? Have we seen or read anything to put this in context yet? Don’t get me wrong, I hate mis-firing adaptations as much as the next guy *cough*Capt.America*cough* – but I really think we ought to pause and wait and see. The reality is, this thing is going to happen whether you or I like it or not, so I suggest we save our rage until we actually have something to rage about.

    • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

      What? Cap was a great adaptation!

      • Shazam!

        I’m sorry sir, but I shall have to disagree with you wholeheartedly!

        When I heard that they were basing the movie in WWII I was excited… only to then see the movie and find that everybody had video surveillance, laser guns, tanks the size of houses… and that the Nazi’s were a footnote. The Hydra theme was dumb, I’m sorry, and I thought it reduced the Red Skull to a pretty petty villain and not the superior adversary he’s supposed to be. I also thought their attempts to copy/not copy the Ultimates version of Cap waking up in present day looked silly and rushed. And don’t get me going about Steve Rogers apparently being a 13 yr. old boy pre-super soldier serum.

        • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

          So wait you were expecting realism in a comic book movie? I mean sure the futuristic tech was a bit much and yet marvel has pretty muchbeen doing that their whole history. We can deal witha Super Soldier, and we can deal with interdimensional beings (mistaken as Gods), but Hydra during WWII is too much? It was saying the Nazi’s were a big issue, but showing that the evolution of the Nazi’s into Hydra could be worse. Also I’m a little confused as to what the problem with Skinny Steve (as I like to call him was) I mean not every guy is 5’8″-6′ you know. I’m 5’5″ and the body was done to accentuate what a gangly 21 -24 year old back then would’ve been like. Sure you wont find many that small NOW but back then, yeah definitely more likely. I do agree the after credits scene felt rushed

          • Shazam!

            Was I expecting realism from a character like Captain America? Yes! That’s one of the great qualities about the character is that he has little to no faith in “other world mumbo jumbo” because he’s a brass and steel soldier! Leave the interdimensional beings to Thor and then let Cap encounter them when they two meet – that’s an interesting story arc. But instead we got Cap encountering this stuff without batting an eye. If they wanted to show how much worse it could have been, they should have had Cap fight the Nazi’s the whole movie – get all banged up and bloodied only to pull back the curtain and find Hydra – a whole new level of bad! Then it’s an easy and much more dramatic jump for him to have to sacrifice himself in order to stop them.

            Granted, I am 6’6″ so Skinny Steve probably looks a lot smaller to me than you, but in that scene where he’s chatting with Peggy in the back of the car it looks like she’s about to drop off her son at army cadets or something!

            I’m just saying that the story felt too weird – too power rangers and not gritty and real enough. I know how much people hate hearing those two words in the same breath as super hero movies, but I got a real taste for a Cap movie when I read the Ultimates, and the movie felt like a let down.

  • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

    So you basically wanted “Saving Private Bucky?” I’m sorry but as cool as that would’ve been it would’ve basically just been another WWII war film. I like your take though, except I would’ve had the reveal be halfway through where the Red Skull had actually had a full on army to fight against showing how far he’d actually gotten in his plan. As for that scene you’re referencing, I get you but she’s 5′ 6″ and was wearing heels.
    And finally the Ultimates really only showed him in WWII a little bit, and that comic was meant to be gritty and more real world, and since the inception of the Comic line, it has changed to be more mainstream, but without all the continuity issues of 70+ years of books. The Marvel film universe is a cross between the Ultimate and mainstream (616) universes really. So we’ll get some of the more over the top aspects, but a more gorunded explanation of them. I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree as I really enjoyed Cap, and can’t wait for him in Avengers.

  • Venom_AA

    Ugh for reals WB? Mind control? I could have dealt with kaneda and tetsuo being brothers and kaneda being a bar owner, but Akira being the bad guy..really? Kaneda having a brain to suspect the gov.? The dude was a free going dude worrying only about kicking ass. Next thing the colonel is going to have superpowers too. -sigh- I’ll be sticking to the original and maybe dld’ing this or waiting till is released on TV.

  • Vashts1990

    I just died a little inside

  • http://www.grifiti.com Tin Hoang

    Think I’ve said this before. They should just call this thing something else. After all the changes, this movie isn’t Akira any longer.