Director Discusses Thoughts on Live-Action "Akira"

"Non-Stop" director praises Katsuhiro Otomo's genius, but says Japanese culture "never has strong characters"

Director Jaume Collet-Serra's long involvement with the convoluted history of attempts to produce a live-action Hollyood adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo's anime/manga Akira has taken another turn. Collet-Serra replaced Albert Hughes after the latter left the project due to creative differences in 2012, only to move on in 2012 when Warner Bros. decided to step back and rework it with a reduced budget projection, and returned to talks last summer as a his schedule opened up in 2014.

 

Collet-Serra's Liam Neeson action vehicle Non-Stop opens February 28th, and the two are also working together on Run All Night.

 

During ther during the press meetings for Non-Stop, Collet-Serra discussed his current thinking on Akira.

 

In an interview with Coming Soon confirmed "I'm still working on "Akira," so that's part of my life. (laughs)."

 

After that, his thoughts on the project get a bit complicated.  On one hand, he praised creator Katsuhiro Otomo
 It's great that they're waiting for me. It's different, because you have to be respectful of the source material. Otomo adapted his own work from a manga into an anime and both things are completely different and genius. The only way to do a live version of "Akira" is to take the spirit and adapt it. It will be as different as the anime was from the manga.

 

On the other, he feels that Akira's characters are lacking, as a symptom of larger problems with Japanese media

CS: And we all have that original anime, it's there, nothing can sully it, so if you were going to do it in live-action one would hope you would bring something new to the table. What is it you are bringing specifically that is going to make it yours?

Collet-Serra:
I hope that I can bring strong characters. In the original source material, I don't think the main characters are the protagonists. What I'm hoping is to bring characters.

CS: That's true. It's one of those strange stories where you literally never see the main character that is the namesake of the film!

Collet-Serra:
Nobody's interesting. Tetsuo's interesting because weird sh*t happens to him, and Kaneda is so two-dimensional. That's part of the Japanese culture, they never have strong characters. They're used as a way to move the other philosophy forward.


read the full interview at Coming Soon

 

via the_moviebob

 

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Scott Green is editor and reporter for anime and manga at geek entertainment site Ain't It Cool News. Follow him on Twitter at @aicnanime.

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