The live-action, Americanized Akira reboot that Warner Bros. has been trying to get off the ground for a decade isn't dead yet, but it has left plenty of creative teams behind already. Some of them got far enough to at least start working on the look of the film, and now we've got a pair of storyboards to help us visualize what they would have done to the anime classic.
These images date back to circa 2008, when Irish short film director Ruairi Robinson was set to direct the film, with Book of Eli writer Gary Whitta signed on as screenwriter and Leonard DiCaprio as a co-producer. The images are by concept artist Sylvain Despretz, who's worked on stuff like Gladiator and Alien: Resurrection.
Sadly, there are only two of them, and they don't come together to tell any kind of real story, but the thing Akira fans will notice immediately is that Kaneda has been turned blond. This, plus names like Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart floating about for the lead roles these days, is enough to make a purist fume.
But it's not like we didn't see the whitewashing coming. After all, they've decided "New Tokyo" will be "New Manhattan," so we couldn't really expect everything else to stay the way it was. Still, the film is on hold right now, so there's always a chance that a new creative team could breathe new, less blasphemous life into the project somewhere down the line.
Meanwhile, you can compare these to the hundreds of pages of original Akira storyboards floating around out there, and see if they even come close.