Live Action Remake of Akira Announced



According to Nikki Finke, the makers of Book of Eli are talking to Warner Bros about remaking the groundbreaking anime film Akira (based on the groundbreaking manga series of the same name by Katushiro Otomo) into a live action version. Finke reports that Andrew Lazar wants to bring Leonardo DiCaprio into the film, which will have a script provided by Gary Whitta, who wrote Book of Eli.

Personally, I think Akira doesn't need to be remade, that it exists perfectly as an animated film–I don't see how a live action version could possibly be as good as the original (the soundtrack is the bomb! Ahhh Kiiii Raaaa).  However, given how far digital filmmaking has progressed, perhaps this is the perfect time to give it a go. The best outcome to this?  Lots and lots of people rediscover the original books and movie.  Amazing stuff.

Have you seen Akira? What do you think of this news?


  1. I haven’t read AKIRA in probably… I dunno, almost 20 years? I remember really liking it back then. I should probably watch the anime and/or reread the manga.

    I’m not against the idea of a live action film.

  2. I saw that when I went through my anime obsession in high school. I’m not sure how this will go with a live action treatment.


  3. Enjoyed the anime when i watched it years ago.  i am intrigued by this news.

  4. i don´t like the idea… especially not with leonardo di caprio. akira is set in a future tokyo and all characters are japanese.. how does di caprio fit in this setting??

    i don´t like it that hollywood is obsessed with remakes.. come with original stuff and don´t copy something 

  5. I would have to disagree that the story exists "perfectly" as an animated film. The anime is an amazing technical, visual achievement, but I don’t think Otomo did a great job of truncating his story down to movie length. It’s a helluva thing to look at, but I think it fails on a story level. It’s kind of like saying Lord of the Rings existed perfectly as Ralph Bakshe’s animated movie. =P Half the story is mssing!

    I’ve got my doubts about how well the Hughes Bros can *tell a story*. I know they can make it look cool, but, like I said, if the animated movie proved anything, it’s that Akira needs to do more than look good in order to make sense.

    I think the comic is one of the best ever made and I would LOVE to see someone tell that story with the love and care that Peter Jackson paid to LOTR. Maybe the Hughes Bros have that love of the meterial to make it work. I dunno.  I’m skeptical, but hopeful.

  6. I don’t really see the point in remaking it, since the anime was so damn good, but whatever. If it gets more people interested in the original source then I don’t mind.

  7. I’m a little against this. I feel like I have all the Akira I need. I really don’t want to see it ‘Westernized’ or dumbed down.

  8. Nothing would be better than the original manga and anime but I would like to see it.  If it blows it blows but whether it is good or not wouldn’t take away from the anime film.  I’d also like to see an Evangelion live action film for shits and giggles.

    @mike: I agree that it will generate buzz into the original source material and that is a good thing.  If the film is good then I’ll have to buy a live action poster to match the anime poster I have in my comic room in my house.

  9. "The part of a 16-year old Japanese boy will now be played by a thirtysomething blonde American man."

    Eh.  No thanks.

  10. I thought this has been in the works for some time now, with Leo and everything

  11. It has.  Past rumors even stated Joseph Gordon Levitt would be Tetsuo.  It’s just that the plans got shelved and I guess they’re back on the table now.

  12. From what i used to hear about this from and AICN Leo just wants to produce this remake and not star. which i am more than fine with cause the man knows a good script when he sees one


  13. AAAAAAAAAAWWWWH YEAH!!! This is up my alley. I’m so pumped for this BUT I’m prepared to have no expectations and just enjoy it for what it is, an attempt at AKIRA being done in real life. Hopefully this will make references to AKIRA more socially acceptable and not out me as such a comic geek.

  14. Not happy about this at all – teeth literally gnashing every time this remake comes up. I love the manga. The anime was adapted for the screen by Otomo himself – it was the perfect adaptation of the source material. This can’t hope to match the animated film. I got it on Blu-Ray a while back (the US Blu-Ray is Region-Free btw) and it holds up amazingly for such an old movie. This is the most unnecessary movie ever. 

  15. Corrections: Leo DiCaprio’s production company has owned the rights to the Akira for quite some time now, so his involvement isn’t really ‘news’.



  16. Who cares if they re-make it. If it’s awesome then people will have more Akira story to enjoy.

    If it sucks, well I don’t think the Dragon Ball movie changed the opinions of any Dragon Ball fans.

     If you have all the story you need then don’t see it. 

  17. @wolf  I’m a huge Dragonball/Akira fan and thought the movie version of the former was enjoyable.  I chose to look at it as more of a tribute (though, admittably, not a perfect one) than an adaptation.  I plan to take Akira (if it’s made) in the same way, and hopefully it will be entertaining.

  18. Book of Eli? Leonardo DiCaprio?


    it’ll probably take place in the U.S. and stray too far away from the setting of Akira. teen biker gangs…in Neo-New York…pass

  19. Wow, this could be really really really bad. Or good.

  20. Again, nothing is sacred anymore so go right on ahead with this remake. I did like the manga/comic but I don’t think it’s the best thing ever. Or at least one of the best manga/anime Japan has ever produced.

    It would be nice if they did try and make the character looks similar.

  21. good news. i’m glad the film is being made, really happy. DiCaprio is actually an awesome choice.


    From Hell was a terrible film though. we’ll see

  22. I remember hearing about this a while ago and oddly enough we mentioned this on the Tiny Chat on Manga.  The reactions were not all that stellar.  The best part was when I heard that they wanted it to take place in Neo New York… or New New York.  Which always begged the question to me whether Bender from Futurama would get a cameo or not.

  23. I’m glad this is being made, its one of the few animes that could actually work in a live action format. I’ll definitly be looking forward to it and watching it.

  24. AKIRA is not only my favorite manga of all time, but it ranks in my top ten of favorite comics of all time.  I’ll say that this doesn’t sound like a good idea on paper, but I’ll reserve judgement until I see a trailer.  I didn’t think Sam Rami or Peter Jackson could direct big-budget spectacles and make them good base on their prior film output, so I’m not totally against the Book of Eli directors on this — yet.  I worry more about the cast than anything as this is such a character-driven story.  If they are going to be faithful to the manga, then SFX aren’t even necessary for a majority of the story.  Just good acting. 

  25. My hopes are that this materializes into an extremely high-quality piece of cinema which will not only be of great value in its own right but prompt a very serious influx of people eager to explore what manga and anime have to offer as story-telling mediums.

    I love me some "DragonBall" and "Bleach", but that’s just a small part of what’s out there in terms of great manga and anime and hopefully a quality-made "Akira" will turn people onto this and make them look more deeply into manga than they have before. Maybe some really cool cross-pollination will occur between fans of American and Japanese comics if a project like "Akira" turns out well. All too often people will have come across the manga equivalent of say, an issue of "Dead-Pool" (not that I have anything against "Dead-Pool") and come away thinking that’s all there is to manga, when, as in American comics, for every Dead-Pool there’s a V, as in "V for Vendetta" or a "The Waiting Place".  

  26. @shonenrafa

    Is the manga equivalent of Dead-pool(whatever that is) Death Note. Because everybody and their mom reccomended me that and it was just…very bad.

  27. Stop remaking movies that don’t need a remake! I’ve decided I’m not going to see any more remakes until they remake The Last Starfighter, a movie that actually deserves a remake!

  28. In about 10 years, this movie will be remade…but animated!

  29. i think this could work…and im kinda psyched about it

  30. No thanks, anime and manga to live action has never been a good idea with a few exceptions.

  31. How this: They should re-release Akira in theaters…in 3D!

  32. *cracks fingers*

    GANTZ didn’t do so well in the box office. So AKIRA (being an “older” title) will naturally not make as much money as GANTZ did just because AKIRA isn’t going to reach the Otaku market. ESPECIALLY the “neo-shonen” fans (ranging from 10-22). These kids with their illogical love of OnePiece, Naruto, Code Geass and Bleach will take one look at AKIRA, look it up on google images, call it “old” and then go about pirating the next episode of whichever title I recently mentioned.

    This is the current trend of live-action adaptations of anime films.

    HOWEVER I am HOPING it proves to be extremely successful otherwise. Meaning there will be a new market than Darkhorse, & Bandai Entertainment US will try to appeal to.

    I also hope more beatniks and hipsters watch this film and get into more manga so that Darkhorse and Viz can release more Osamu Tezuka material in english so I don’t have to read the scanlated versions of titles not out yet in the US. I really want to finish my collection of Hi No Tori.

  33. pienso que la version de katsuhiro otomo es la mejor, si hollywood la hace seguro que no sera tan buena, hecharan mucha pasta pero otomo le puso poesia y amor hollywood solo pondra pasta:(