Albert Hughes walks away from Akira

It was a bit too good to be true. Book of Eli helmer Albert Hughes was preparing to take on directorial duties for Warner Bros. planned live adaptation of Akira. Not anymore.

Source: Deadline

The twists and turns on the Warner Bros adaptation of anime artist Katsuhiro Otomo’s graphic novel Akira continue. Director Albert Hughes is exiting the movie, I’m told. Insiders say that it is an amicable creative differences parting of the ways. Warner Bros will try to put him on another movie right away (Hughes and his brother Allen directed the hit The Book of Eli and WB topper Jeff Robinov is their former agent and is very close with them). Hughes is coming to Hollywood next week to take meetings with his WME reps and look at scripts, hoping to find his next movie at Warner Bros.

This is a bit of a bummer. Although I’m not convinced that Akira is the best anime property to turn into live action, like others poor choices before, it was at least in very talented hands with regard to direction. The plan is to still fast track this film into theaters so the idea is that we’ll find out who will be filling in the role of Director within a reasonable amount of time. Great, now they have to find a cast and a director.

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9 thoughts on “Albert Hughes walks away from Akira

  1. I’m all for adapting movies from other genres, but this project seems like it will be a tough one to swallow. The anime is so weird and depressing (and awesome) that a live action movie will have to totally reinvent itself to not be in the anime’s shadow. Without a director or cast, despite being fast-tracked, I get the feeling that this one is going to come out of the oven under cooked.

  2. I wish they’d cut their losses and do something different. There’s lots of good animes out there: this one’s too much of a sacred cow for its fans, many of whom will be insulted they’re making this (particularly in that they’d be Americanizing it) to begin with, and it’s not going to be the easiest to adapt, or have the largest target audience (unless they “Matrixize” it, as someone wrote above). Let sleeping dogs lie, I say, and go make Cowboy Bebop or something like that.

  3. Why are they so obsessed with making this happen? Who is this movie even for? The fans of Akira will just be pissed off and refuse to see it, and to everyone else it’ll just be a generic action/disaster film.

    Give up Hollywood just give up.

    1. Exactly. This is The Watchmen all over again. While it was actually a pretty good movie, so I’m not sorry they made it, the studios severely overestimated the size and scope of a potential audience and it was essentially a Box Office flop. Either they’ll make Akira interesting, but not marketable to the extent that it could be very profitable compared to the big budget it would need, or they’ll bastardize it and it’ll probably be so bad it’d flop even worse.

      I really would love some more live action movies from anime or manga origins, I feel it could add a great deal to our choices and give fans of science fiction, actions or even comedies a break from the status quo (not to mention fellow fans of animes and manga a chance to see their favorites on the big screen)… but I don’t see Akira being the one to “break in” the anime and manga live action ‘genre’ as Spiderman did for comic book movies.

      1. They are leaving it alone. They are not changing the original animated feature one bit.

        They are making a new one.

        If everyone thought making a different version of something that was already out there in a different version was a bad thing there are TONS of great films that never would have been made.

        This is no different than adapting a book.

  4. I’m going to go ahead and guess the creative differences were that WB was all ZOMG make it like the Matrix! and he kept trying to make it interesting.

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