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.