Actor from aborted Akira reveals changes that would have ruined it

Contributed by
Dec 16, 2012

We've recently seen some unused storyboards from the stalled U.S. attempt to bring the famed manga/anime tale Akira to the big screen, but now one of the film's would-be stars has opened up about how the project may be better off stuck in purgatory.

Toby Kebbell (Wrath of the Titans) was briefly tapped to play the character Tetsuo in the U.S. remake—which has had everyone from Garrett Hedlund (Tron Legacy) to Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight) attached at some point—and revealed that the writers of Warner Bros.' adaptation were planning to make at least one pretty drastic change to the original story.

"The other thing they wanted to do was make [Tetsuo and Kaneda] brothers. I was like, 'The point is that Tetsuo can't comprehend how someone who isn't his brother could love him so much—and that's where his wrath and his rage come from,'" he said. "'Do you not see that? Why have you made them brothers? What the [@#$!] are you doing?'"

The film was going to be based on the animated film, as opposed to the original manga, and Kebbell said he would rather go back to the original canon, as opposed to the stellar animated adaptation.

"They were like, 'This is going to be a big franchise!' So I said, 'Then, in that case, understand that I've read the comics, and I've read the comics that got turned into the annuals, and then the annuals that got turned into the one-off anime. So if you really want to do it, then why don't you look at the six comics and just put two into each film?,'" he said. "They were like, 'Welllll ...' So I told them, 'Then this is a remake [of the animated movie], and I don't want to do a live-action remake of the cartoon, because [the cartoon] is perfect and you're not going to do it dark enough -- so therefore, I don't want to do it. ... I was desperate to do it, but I just hoped they were going to take the six annuals and adapt them."

Judging by Kebbell's comments, it's obvious he's a huge fan of the series. Here's hoping that if it ever gets back off the ground, he can be involved again.

Sound off: Would you like to see Akira on the big screen, even if it does take some changes to get there? Or, would you rather Hollywood just leave it alone?

(Collider via IFC)

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