Ghost in the Shell may have been a failure of epic proportions, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that all anime adaptations are doomed from the get-go. Admittedly, many studios may wait on pins and needles to see how Netflix’s Death Note film fares, but there are still countless anime adaptations that would be a good fit for Tinsel Town. One film that’s been in development hell for as long as we can remember is Akira.
For those unfamiliar, Akira was first a sci-fi manga from Katsuhiro Otomo, and later a 1988 animated film from the creator. The film has since gone on to become a staple of the medium — although, if you ask me, the manga’s executed much better in terms of story. However, if there’s one quality aspect that cannot be denied, it’s the animation. The film itself is gorgeous, and a testament of what’s possible with hand drawn animation.
But after all this time, and after the flop that is Ghost in the Shell, is a remake still in the cards, and is Otomo still on board with such a take? In an extended interview with Forbes, he discussed his willingness to see his baby hit the big screen in live-action form. Here’s what he had to say.
“While I haven't seen the new live-action Ghost in the Shell, when it comes to Akira I have already finished the original manga and my own anime version too. So in that sense, I am basically done with Akira. If someone wants to do something new with Akira then I am mostly okay with that. As I accepted the offer for a live-action Akira to be made, so I am generally okay with whatever they want to do with it. However, I did give one major condition to a live-action version and that is that I had to check and approve the scenario.
“As always, the fundamental question on adapting anything is whether you follow the host work strictly or do something new with it, that is a never-ending discussion I think… Personally, I think being entirely bound to the original manga of something like Akira would not make any sense as a movie. As for what I would do in terms of adapting Akira into my own live-action movie, I really don't want to do that. I would much rather do something entirely new and separate.”
So for what it’s worth, if there was a live-action Akira to hit the big screen, it would at least have the direct approval of Otomo himself, in terms of the story itself, which could comfort some fans of the original. Of course, that’s no guarantee that the film would be a solid hit, as was evidenced by Ghost in the Shell, which had the approval from the original animated film director.
All in all, Otomo seems to have the right idea. While Hollywood is quick to try and make a buck off an existing property, he’s much more interested in slaying new beasts.
What do you think? Does Otomo having to approve the scenario give you any more faith in this adaptation? Let us know in the comments down below!
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