Let me first say that Akira is one of my favorite movies of all time. That being said, this live-action movie has the potential to be equally as epic. Even so, I fear that the people behind it will somehow foul it up like most remakes. I am glad to hear that Zac Efron will indeed NOT be playing Kaneda, and whoever started that rumor should be punched in the nether regions.
Anyways, script details for the Akira remake have been revealed and so far it doesn’t seem to be going well. I do have hope that they will fix these issues and include the parts that made the original so great.
The story has been “Americanized,” with the center of the action taking place in New Manhattan after the decimation of the city ( an incident resembling a nuclear bomb explosion), has been blamed on the work of unknown terrorists, with the iconic shot of Akira as the sole survivor clutching his teddy bear standing solemn in the crater at ground zero.
Flash-forward to sometime in the future where protagonists Kaneda and Travis (gone is the name Tetsuo – why not just keep it? ) belong to one of several biker gangs that control the burned out old Manhattan, while the shiny new Chinese-owned-and-invested “New Manhattan” glitters back at them like a star that cannot be touched.
The story somewhat follows the animated film but introduces a new character, Ray Arcman, who is the mad scientist that created Akira by using psychic and kinetic experiments on children including the three Espers (the elderly looking 10-year-olds from the animated film).
Asian gangsters run the underworld along with several motorcycle gangs (sadly, the “Clowns” are not in the film). Illegal drugs are still in demand and the gangs in turn have to pay tribute to their bosses, the ”Packies” (Pakistanis).
Liberties are taken with some of the characters: Princess Miyako is now an elderly trash-collecting lady in Old Manhattan and the Colonel’s part doesn’t come off as strong as he did in the animated version.
There are also continuity problems with the script. In one scene, the Colonel sets off a claymore mine in order to block the approaching Black Ops army and is wounded. Yet, in another scene after this, when he is captured, The Colonel is able to take out two military policeman and operate a .50 caliber mini-gun in a helicopter gunship in order to save Kaneda – then he promptly disappears for the remainder of the film.
Yes, Travis (Tetsuo) does expand and morph into a ballooning human amoeba, but only for one short scene. I think we can all agree that this is one of the landmark, crucial scenes that needs to be in the film, yet it’s only a mere fragment.
Kaneda gets a Tech 9 machine pistol instead of the high-tech-looking plasma-type weapon that was used in the original anime, and on the iconic Akira poster.
So what do you guys think?