Friday, February 12, 2010

From "Book of Eli" to live-action "Akira" remake for the Hughes Brothers?

by Chris MaGee

There was a lot of new English remake talk this week, but here is a project that we've been following for a good long while. It was way back in November of 2008 that rumours started swirling about a live-action remake of Katsuhiro Otomo's definitive 1988 sci-fi anime "Akira" by Leonardo Dicaprio's production company Appian Way. Things went back and forth and back and forth for months with the project. At one point the relatively unknown 31-year-old director Ruairi Robinson was named as the man who was going to be helming the film, but by June 2009 it was announced that the "Akira" remake had been shelved. All of us breathed a collective sigh of relief.

That was until this week when Anime News Network reported that the directing duo Albert and Allen Hughes (above left), better known as the Hughes Brothers, were in negotiations with Warner Brothers and Appian Way to direct not one, but two feature films based on Otomo's original 1980's manga. The Hughes Brothers first came to fame with their early 90's gang dramas "Menace II Society" and "Dead Presidents" and then went on to helm a variety of projects, from the 2001 Jack the Ripper film "From Hell" starring Johnny Depp, to this year's posy-apocalyptic action movie "The Book of Eli" starring Denzel Washington. I suppose that that last film sealed the deal in Warner's mind. If they can give us one post-apocalyptic film then why not another? Plus it doesn't hurt that the Hughes Brothers helmed two films about gang violence. Crips versus Bloods or motorcycle gangs in New Tokyo?

It's been a long road so far with this "Akira" remake, so I'm not 100% sure I believe all the talk yet. What do you think about the Hughes Brothers taking on "Akira"? If not them, who? Have your say in the comments.


jaystew said...

I've been fearing the day when Hollywood turns to anime and manga. It was obvious that it would happen.

I like the Hughes brothers, but Akira won't get made the way it should.

A friend of mine said to me about remakes that worry us, which is that the original we love is always there. And he's right, but when something we love hasn't been, or hasn't been planned to be remade, we can hold on to our daydreaming about the perfect version of something being made, the perfect live action Akira, japanese cast and all (which certainly won't happen).

Same thing with Cowboy Bebop. I'm actually one of the few people I know that is fine with Keanu Reeves, but come on, he's no Spike Spiegel.

zamrai said...

I wish Hollywood would stay away from any manga/anime adaptations. Reasons are obvious. And now the Hughes brothers... After "Book of Eli" I do not expect any good from them.