New Akira director promises big changes from 'two dimensional' anime version

Contributed by
Feb 10, 2014, 6:15 PM EST

It seems like a live action version of the acclaimed anime Akira has been in the works for just about forever, but when it finally does arrive, don’t expect it to look too familiar.

Director Jaume Collet-Serra, who says Akira will “hopefully” be his next project, opened up about his vision for the franchise in a recent chat with Coming Soon. Collet-Serra says he wants to take the essence of the original and basically tell a new story within that universe.

Why? Because he believes the characters from the original manga, and 1988 anime version, are too weak to carry a live-action film. Instead, he wants to add some new, “strong characters” into the mix he can use to tell his story. 

Here’s an excerpt from his comments: 

“I hope that I can bring strong characters. In the original source material, I don't think the main characters are the protagonists. What I'm hoping is to bring characters … Nobody’s interesting. Tetsuo's interesting because weird sh*t happens to him, and Kaneda is so two-dimensional. That's part of the Japanese culture, they never have strong characters. They're used as a way to move the other philosophy forward.

So hopefully in my version that will be strong, and you'll have a story that happens in that world that will show you a little bit of the mystery. Then, if you're interested, they'll make Akira 2 and 3 then you can get deeper into it. I love the world, a lot of people love that world, so why wouldn't we indulge in it a little bit and see how it would be if it was real? Like you say I don't have to explain everything, but wouldn't you like to spend two-hours in a world of "Akira" and follow a character and be like, ‘that's cool’? That's all I want to offer, is two-hours in a world you can actually feel. We're working on it.”

Considering the absolute reverence fans hold for Akira, and the fact that it isn’t really a mainstream property, it’s interesting that Collet-Serra is looking to possibly throw out some of the signposts that fans could actually recognize.

What do you think? Is this the approach you want to see for Akira?

(Via Coming Soon)