The Book of Eli's Hughes Brothers Helming Live-Action Akira
by Alex Billington
February 10, 2010
Did you see The Book of Eli? And did you enjoy it? If you did enjoy it (like I did), then you're going to love this news. Vulture was the first to announce today that Albert and Allen Hughes, more commonly known as the Hughes Brothers, are in negotiations with Warner Bros to helm the live-action adaptation of the 1988 anime (and 1982 manga) Akira. We heard this was on its way a few years back when Ruairi Robinson was originally attached to direct. I even heard that Zack Snyder was offered the job once but declined. Now it looks like it's up to the Albert and Allen Hughes to bring the legendary anime into the live-action realm.
The script for this Akira was rewritten by Iron Man and Cowboys & Aliens writers Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby. We've also heard that this has gone through a lot of different iterations to get to where it is today. In fact, Warner Bros won't let them to make one movie out of the graphic novel (which this is based on - not the anime). "Instead, we hear that the studio is planning to make Akira in two parts, with the first three volumes of the six-volume manga making up the first film, due out next year." Apparently they're doing this out of respect for the source material's extreme complexity. So will they shoot the two movies back-to-back?
I expect there to be some backlash towards the idea of adapting Akira at all, but let me be one of the first to say that I think Warner Brothers made one of the best choices they ever could have by hiring the Hughes Brothers for this. I love their style, it's gorgeous but gritty, and if they can apply that same energetic, sleek filmmaking seen in The Book of Eli to a much larger story in Akira, then I'll be happy. I wasn't a fan of From Hell, but these guys have since honed their skills and become great directors. I'm a fan of the anime and I know there's a lot of story in there, but I think the Hughes Brothers will kick some serious ass with Akira.
Reader Feedback - 43 Comments
dfsfsdgf on Feb 10, 2010
huh? well I...I din't know how to feel about this...is dicaprio appian way still involved?
Xerxex on Feb 10, 2010
Hmm... I hope they're true to the original material (manga or film) and that it turns out better than The Book of Eli (which had alot more potential than was delivered).
Dark Fist on Feb 10, 2010
Oh, just read that bit about trying to stay true to the manga, that makes me a bit more optimistic.
Dark Fist on Feb 10, 2010
Personally, I've not seen anything from the Hughes Brothers to convince me that they can deliver a live-action Akira to satisfy the expectations of Manga fans. That's not to say they can't do it, as The Book of Eli was certainly an improvement above From Hell. But, I'll remain optimistic and will reserve my judgment until we see what they can do with the material.
Darren Albert on Feb 10, 2010
Big Fucking Smile over here ... 😉
Dreckent on Feb 10, 2010
Alex that's a very good thing DiCaprio has shown a lot of interest in Akira and I think Appian Way and The Hughes Brothers will bring the Akira we all want and deserve.
Xerxex on Feb 10, 2010
Excited to hear that the movie will be a two-parter. Hopefully that will make the adaptation flow better. Personally, I haven't seen The Book of Eli, but I feel like a better director choice could have been made. But, I guess we'll see.
deltavoyage on Feb 10, 2010
I love the Hughes brothers but for my eight bucks, I'd rather see David Cronenberg direct this flick.
GIGERBRICK on Feb 10, 2010
niiiicccee...cant wait to see what they come up with.
curtfrmcali on Feb 10, 2010
I was a fan of this back when the comic first came out state-side... back when the animated movie was only available in Japanese without subtitles. (Wil Wheaton recently said the same thing, I LOL'd, but it is true for both of us.) I'll be interested to see what they do.
dRailer on Feb 10, 2010
#10 - Cronenburg, now that's a good idea.
James on Feb 10, 2010
Great to hear it's in two parts, so it will be mostly intact. I haven't seen the Hughes brothers works, but I hear they are good so I'm pretty excited.
Ajax on Feb 10, 2010
#10 Cronenberg?! No way thats crazy talk. Would rather have Terry Gilliam direct this then Cronenberg any day. HE would definitely screw up Akira.
johnny rico on Feb 10, 2010
Fuck no. Ew on that shit.
Fuelbot on Feb 10, 2010
I think Edgar Wright would do Akira justice.
Nethanel DeCarmo on Feb 10, 2010
I'm not really ecstatic about an Akira live action movie. But i do agree that these two are the best choice to direct. I hope they can get the person who scored The Book of Eli for Akira because all of the great songs from that movie went so well and I'd like to see the same type of approach done with Akira. I have a good feeling about it now
Dan W on Feb 10, 2010
#16 sounds right If you're going to make Akira, do it with a $300 budget with Peter Jackson. Hughes Bros couldn't handle that shit. Same goes with NGE and Cowboy Bebop adaptations.
whomever on Feb 10, 2010
why Peter Jackson? Why should Jackson get it? LOTR was excellent and all but that dosen't mean he needs to be picked for Akira, NGE, and Cowboy Bebop...it needs to be someone who will delve into the original material and care about the overall project. Could Jackson do it? Yes! Does he need to? Not really. The Hughes brothers are a great choice, it all comes down to a director who cares.
Xerxex on Feb 10, 2010
No fucking way. The tone of the movie was very dark and realistic. I see the Hughes brothers ruining this movie with too much action and not enough dialogue. Get Ruairi Robinson back on board or someone who can easily pull off the perfect tone, Neill Blomkamp.
Gill on Feb 10, 2010
What the fuck? It said they MIGHT do it, why does this title say they ARE doing it?
Hans on Feb 10, 2010
#20 - There is nothing in the Hughes Brothers' catalog to suggest they would do a story of this magnitude justice. And I don't want to hear the "but Book Of Eli was good" argument. I'm not against seeing an Akira adaptation, but not with the Hughes Brothers helming it and certainly not a super Americanized version. New Manhattan instead of Neo Tokyo is just plain stupid.
Fuelbot on Feb 10, 2010
I haven't seen "Book of Eli." You never know they could surprise you, nobody knew who Peter Jackson was until LOTR, only a handful of people say Heavenly Creatures and The Frighteners, this could be the Hughes Bros. chance to put themselves on the map, as for the setting I would perfer it to stay in Neo-Tokyo but it will probably be set in Neo-New York or Neo-L.A. as the the Americanization well it pretty much will be, with an American production company (Appian Way) and American Directors...hell the Manga is more popular in the States then in Japan.
Xerxex on Feb 10, 2010
After the ignominious and frankly unforgivable butchering of the graphic novel masterpiece "From Hell" the directing duo shouldn't be allowed to come near any ambitious, multilayered adaptation of a major work of literary fiction. The news about the Hughes Brothers directing "Akira" is, in a word, crushing.
Marty on Feb 11, 2010
Be interesting to see what they do about the Tokyo/manhattan question.
tir na nog on Feb 11, 2010
I'm just happy that we're gettin' a live-action Akira. This is the one exception to my belief that anime generally doesn't translate well to Hollywood film.
Nada Nuff on Feb 11, 2010
i.... do not like this
florian on Feb 11, 2010
If the Hughes brothers are actually chosen for Akira...They should make it more MenaceIISociety and Less Book of Eli. The frenetic style of the former is more suited for Akira than the slickness of the latter. Book of Eli was just okay...the ending was pretty weak though! I can't see an Akira live action movie made without some seriously intense use of CGI tech (you can't use practical effects for the shit that happens to Tetsou or the city getting destroyed) so the Hughes brothers better put Peter Jackson's WETA on speed dial or something! Still holding out for other possible directors to be chosen for this. But if the Hughes brothers land the gig...best of luck to em! If they do stick to the whole Neomanhattan shenanigans...they better pick Joseph Gordon-Levitt to play Tesou!
Chidi on Feb 11, 2010
Oh good lord this is a terrible idea. In every way.
Johnny Walker on Feb 11, 2010
I LOVE CORPORATE AMERICA. NOT TO SAY THE HUGH BROS. WONT ROCK THIS OUT,BUT I LOVE HOW THE "SUITS" THINK THEY KNOW WHAT THIER DOING. WE THE FANS HAVE DICTATED THE MOVIE INDUSTRY FOR THE LAST 10 YEARS. WE SAID WE WANTED THIS AND THAT'S WHAT THIER DOING...BUT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD IF THIS IS NOT AN ALL JAPANESE CAST AND SET IN NEO TOKYO I WILL BE VERY DISSAPOINTED. IT'S CALLED "AKIRA" RIGHT? I'M DUSTING OFF MY MACFARLANE TOYS AS WE SPEAK...I HOPE THIS WORKS.
JEFFREY on Feb 11, 2010
With this news we now know for sure that it's gonna suck....hard. What a terrible idea...these guys are mediocre directors at best. Akira deserves someone much bigger than these posers.
Geoff on Feb 11, 2010
Oh lord no...this will never work as a live action film, ever. Does anybody have any updates on The Goon/ Fincher Project to help me forget another childhood favorite being ruined.
Warhead on Feb 11, 2010
I like the idea b/c they're definitely comics fans and talented filmmakers. And I definitely like the idea of a two parter. Just picturing the post-apocalyptic Neo Tokyo(Manhattan?) on screen run by rogue psychic factions, w/ the Colonol hi-jacking a Caretaker Robot & Kaneda teaming up w/ the clowns ... Would it be too weird to preserve their names, and act as if asian gangs are running the streets of some post-apocalyptic New York? I'm just having a hard time picturing this retitled : "Mikey". Does anyone else see what I mean? Has anyone read the script? Also - if they really want to pay tribute, they should have several scenes - but not the whole movie - that pay homage to the amazing cinematography of the film. I'm just saying - visually that movie is still stunning, to this day!
Django on Feb 11, 2010
Totally agree with you Django, The Hughes Bros. seem like a perfect fit! I want them to keep with the original storyline, but I doubt they will, lets hope the script is up to par.
Xerxex on Feb 11, 2010
im pretty new to akira as i watched it for the first time 2 weeks ago and as awesome a anime it was i think some people need to get the stick out there ass... im 50% sure those 2 will do a good job as is it will either be good or bad but whatever the outcome there is nothing you can do about it .... look i know staying true to souyrce material is improtant especially to the tards and fan boys alike but certain shit just cant be done especially if they honestly plan on having the first part come out next year... hell adapting the anime would be a process but they are adapting the whole damn manga... fact of the matter is akira is someday going to be made whether or not its good your still going to go see it so just stfu
take it or leave it on Feb 14, 2010
well I wasnt excited to hear this would be a live action film..but It gives me slight hope knowing someone was smart enough to realize you cant make ONE movie out of such a large graphic novel! my wish was that this would get made as a mini-series ala Battlestar. The graphic novel blows the anime away so its exciting that they are taking this approach. Directors grow with experience and these guys have shown a good track record of growth from film to film so my issue isnt with them as directors but hopes of faithful adherence to the material. Tetsuo running the clowns, massive drug use, sex, the cult etc..stuff that was only touched upon in the anime..if done right, this could be awesome..(i wont hold my breath)
lando on Feb 15, 2010
Hughes Bros. aren't fit for this kinda adaptation. After watching Book of Eli, its kinda hard to imagine them helming a post apocalyptic big budget film like Akira. Book of Eli was a post apocalyptic film, and look at how they handled THAT. I think this project is better suited for some other director with more visual talent. Someone above mention Ruairi Robinson being back on for director's seat, and possibly he could do it. Or hell even Neil Blomkamp. But no, not the Hughes Brothers....
julian on Feb 16, 2010
is it just me or wouldnt the wachowskis be able to pull this off?
jason k on Feb 16, 2010
!!!! PLEASE KEEP THE WACHOWSKIS AWAY FROM THIS!!! FAR FAR AWAY!!!! give them power rangers or some video games...
lando on Feb 16, 2010
i this movie will be good if they stick to the story
ish on Feb 22, 2010
To all of you who think that this won't be a good adaptation of the manga, Katushiro (sp?) Otomo, maker of both the anime and the manga, is the executive producer, atleast from what has been said so far, and i doubt he'll let them ruin his greatest work.
TKEMERT20 on Feb 28, 2010
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