The beloved Akira franchise might be getting a really good adaptation from Director Taika Waititi who has hinted towards an intention of adapting the book as opposed to the anime. This is something that is hopeful for the franchise. One of the most recent developments in remakes is that filmmakers have been remaking films that are in themselves either remakes themselves or an adaptation of a source material. One example is Total Recall starring Colin Farrell, which is a remake of the Arnold Schwarzenegger starring vehicle of the same name. However, the Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle is an adaptation of a short story called “We Can Remember it For you Whole Sale”.
Another film that has been remade from another film which is an adaptation is Ghost in The Shell. It was basically a live action version of the 1995 anime instead of being a fresh adaptation of the original manga. The filmmakers have even redone full scenes from the anime version and just put the live action version of the scene up on screen. Fortunately, Waititi does not want to take this approach. He wants to go to the original source material and find a ton of new elements to bring to the screen.
One thing about the original Akira manga is that there is enough for plenty of movies. One could make a film that apparently has nothing to do with the anime while at the same time taking place in the manga. One thing that the filmmaker needs to understand before adapting Akira to the big screen is that there is way too much material to fit inside even two full length feature films. It would take a series of films to make sure that enough of the manga is brought to the screen in a way that makes sense.
One good thing is that this could’ve been a lot worse. One of the ways it could’ve been worse is that it would’ve turned into a cheap looking white washed shadow of what the manga and anime was.
There has been a lot of attempts to bring Akira to the big screen. One thing about the attempts is that they have involved certain changes to the elements of the story. One of the elements of the story is the setting in which it would take place. At one point, it was going to take place in a Japan owned Neo-Manhattan. However, this brings about a jarring and common problem that Hollywood is known for. It is the white-washing of characters. White actors have often been placed in roles of characters that are not white.
Fortunately, there is a chance that Taika Waititi is going to helm the adaptation. Even if it doesn’t work out that way, he could influence the project with his insights that he has presented. One thing that he has said is that he is not going to adapt the anime to the big screen. He will instead go to the original source material. One thing that needs to be considered about Akira is that the anime movie has been filmed and released long before the original comics were complete. Therefore, the creative team had no idea about how they wanted to end the film. The ending in the anime with all of the bizarre imagery is partially the result of not knowing where to go. Even with all of the challenges, the film ultimately turned out to be a hit among audiences.
One other thing to consider is that there is way too much material for one movie to cover. The best approach is to do a series of movies. Even a Lord of the Rings style trilogy might not be enough to cover. Since Akira is a beloved manga and anime, it is important to look carefully into the project in order to make sure that the film is done in a way that it respects the source material without being too strict in its adaptation. Watchmen tried that approach and people didn’t think it was anything too special.