Live Action Akira Director Says Its Characters Aren't "Interesting"

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Live Action Akira Director Says Its Characters Aren't "Interesting"

akira

Director Jaume Collet-Serra says the live-action version of Akira hopes to correct the original's "two-dimensional" characters.

It's been a long and winding road for the live action version Akira. Since Warner Bros. first announced that it had secured the rights to make the film, it's gone through a string of writers, directors, and potential cast members almost as long as the manga on which its based. That said, current director Jaume Collet-Serra recently opened up about the ongoing process of getting the film made, as well as what he hopes to do and bring to the live action adaptation.

"The only way to do a live version of Akira is to take the spirit and adapt it," said Collet-Serra. "It will be as different as the anime was from the manga." That said, he affirmed that the live action version, as longs as its in his care, won't wind up watered down to appeal to wider audiences. "I think you cannot make a movie about Akira and hope that everyone understands it," he said. "If you're a fan, you already know what it's about and you'll see it's part of the same world, but trying to oversimplify it would be a mistake. I think if at some point a character tries to explain it to the audience at the end of the second act, that's a problem."

That being said, he affirmed that he will leave some personal touches on the story, namely its characters. "Nobody's interesting. Tetsuo's interesting because weird shit 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," he said. In turn, he hopes to recreate the characters to be "strong" and to leave viewers with a capturing mystery that will bring them back for "Akira 2 & 3.

Source: Coming Soon

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I lost any interest in a live-action Akira after I saw Chronicle. Seemed unnecessary at that point.

Like really? I though Chronicle was pretty brilliant (and when you add in the budget they had for it it just becomes even more impressive)

>.>

No ... not even Tetsuo was interesting. No one was, the movie just isn't that good no matter how you look at it.

As for the 'Japan doesn't make strong story's' line.

That's funny at how laughably wrong that is (Grave of the Fire Fly's says hi, so does Wolf Children)

But what ever, his 'corrections' will likely make a below average movie worse, so at least we have the train wreck to look forward to.

*Draws breath* AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

oh god i wish they would just stop, while it's far from some untouchable text why bother using it if you are just going to hack it to pieces.

This guy's most notable works to date are Unknown (the action movie starring Liam Neeson trying to reclaim his family and foil a sinister conspiracy in a European city, no not that one) and House of Wax, which is the one where Paris Hilton dies a lovely violent death.

I honestly wonder if he bothered with reading any of Akira, the anime is fair enough, it compresses the whole thing into 90minutes and is a bit 'this is Kaneda, he's a badass, this is Colonel Shikishima, he's a principled Badass,' but it's no worse than ninety percent of all films ever.

I suspect this is his pre-justification for trying to turn Akira into an Amazing Spiderman style tween dollar vacuum attempt, like say... Dragonball Evolution or The Last Airbender or, actually that train of thought is too horrifying to continue.

I can't wait to see which white American or European actors get the roles of Kaneda, Yamagata and Kei. Although I expect Yamagata to cast as a black actor to properly befit his status as the doomed badass.

"Japanese culture, they never have strong characters"

O...just...WOW.

Balls on this douche bag.

Incomer:
Like really? I though Chronicle was pretty brilliant (and when you add in the budget they had for it it just becomes even more impressive)

Thats kinda what he means, why make a live action americanised Akira since it'll just be a crappier version of Chronicle?

OT: Oh my lawd, this director? This guy. Thiiiiiiiiiiis guy. The guy who wrote Tetsuo and Kaneda as brothers because the idea of two boys having an unhealthy co-dependent relationship didn't work unless their family? That the idea, they aren't family, they made their own as a reflection of Japan's breakdown in society at the time, they have characters and personalities and there is a sh*t-ton of nuance to nearly every character in the manga if you actually read it. Hell, it's even in the movie though watered down.

Lunar Templar:
>.>

No ... not even Tetsuo was interesting. No one was, the movie just isn't that good no matter how you look at it.

As for the 'Japan doesn't make strong story's' line.

That's funny at how laughably wrong that is (Grave of the Fire Fly's says hi, so does Wolf Children)

But what ever, his 'corrections' will likely make a below average movie worse, so at least we have the train wreck to look forward to.

Manga gets more across of the characters if that helps. But even in the movie I always found Tetsuo's shift from inferiority complex to deity really interesting, he'd never had to take responsibility for his actions because he had no power and Kaneda always protected him so when he had LOADS of power and Kaneda refused to let their roles be reversed, he lost his grip a little bit and did reprehensible shit just because he genuinely couldn't understand what it meant to be in the position he was... also Wolf Children? That was your second go to?

Never seen Akira, nor read the manga, but JEE-ZUSS,

broad sweeping generalizations (patently false one, in this case) never fail to make a person seem like a gigantic douchebag.


There. Harry Partridge just saved them 3 years and $150 million.

I actually agree with him.

I did not like Akira's characters. It will have a special place in my heart as being one of my first animes back in the 90's when Anime geeks were the worst of all, but we still crawled through the dredges to find what we could... But no. I didn't like it. I didn't like the yelling, the bikes weren't cool to me. I liked the landscape but.. yeah, wasn't for me.

BUT

I did not sign on to create what should be a labor of love that is focused on a very vocal percent of the geek gaming culture market that everyone is trying to tap into! What the FUCK, Dude?! Who the hell are you to think your touches mean anything to the legions of fans of this movie?! They don't care about your vision. Most of them don't know who you are. They want to see what they loved portrayed accurately. If you can't see the splendor in that, if you can't get beyond yourself and do the job you were hired for, then get the fuck out and give it to someone who CAN do that. This isn't about you. It's about Akira's fans!

"Nobody's interesting. Tetsuo's interesting because weird shit happens to him, and Kaneda is so two-dimensional. That's part of the Japanese culture, they never have strong characters."

Wait. He considers this uncommon in live action cinema?

...Has Collet-Serra been replaced by his mirror-universe counterpart?

honestly I thought Akira was a little boring not bad but kind of eh granted the manga is probable a lot better but I can at least see what he's trying to say. On the other hand way to go making a generalization of Japaneses culture, I mean really all I need to do is point to one of Hayao Miyazaki movies to prove that statement wrong and I'm not even getting into to all the really great anime.

Let's summarize: the guy who made the non-porn Paris Hilton movie is going to direct the american live action remake of a philosophical foreign movie and while he's at it, he's going to "improve" the "boring" characters.

Nope, I don't see anything that could go wrong.

"Japanese culture, they never have strong characters"

It's true, only Americans can write strong characters. Than God America still stands strong as a bastion of art and culture in a world otherwise devoid of talent.

Silly Japanese

Optimus Prime riding a dinosaur = character development.

CaptainMarvelous:

Lunar Templar:
>.>

No ... not even Tetsuo was interesting. No one was, the movie just isn't that good no matter how you look at it.

As for the 'Japan doesn't make strong story's' line.

That's funny at how laughably wrong that is (Grave of the Fire Fly's says hi, so does Wolf Children)

But what ever, his 'corrections' will likely make a below average movie worse, so at least we have the train wreck to look forward to.

Manga gets more across of the characters if that helps. But even in the movie I always found Tetsuo's shift from inferiority complex to deity really interesting, he'd never had to take responsibility for his actions because he had no power and Kaneda always protected him so when he had LOADS of power and Kaneda refused to let their roles be reversed, he lost his grip a little bit and did reprehensible shit just because he genuinely couldn't understand what it meant to be in the position he was...

Not really, no. For anime movies if I don't like the movie, I'm not really interested in the source material. Maybe the manga does make it not suck, and feel like less of a fucking chore to get through but I didn't see anything that made me wanna see/find out more about the characters.

Akira is like FF7 to me, in that most the hype comes from it being a lot of peoples 'first time', more then how good it actually is.

also Wolf Children? That was your second go to?

Aye, it was, would have picked Summer Wars, but Wolf Children was better. Besides, I was going for an 'opposite end of the spectrum' thing, Grave of the Firefly is great, WAY better then Akira could ever hope to be, even if I have no desire to see the movie again (too depressing), and while WC isn't that good, it is good enough imo to be mentioned in the same breath as Miyazaki's work.

...Every part of my being wants to wretch at this borderline xenophobic crap he's spouting. Although considering this guy's track record it is par for the course. Hacks often do lash out at that which is far better than what they're capable of

"Never have strong characters", COME ON.

He's not wrong about the characters being flat in Akira though. The most interesting character is Tetsuo, because of all the changes he goes through, but the rest aren't very well developed. It's an action movie plot(or rather six of them), characters are not one of the stronger points and it's never the focus of that story. Having said that, I don't think I disliked any of the characters. They aren't bad, there just isn't much to them and they get short scenes so the action moves.

Chris Ingersoll:
I lost any interest in a live-action Akira after I saw Chronicle. Seemed unnecessary at that point.

Ha right, that movie man came out of left field for me and I keep waiting for a good sequel but even if it never gets a sequel I'm exceptionally pleased with it. This and Dredd were two movies recently that really surprised me.

Ah this movie is screwed.
I mean I knew it was screwed when it was a live action movie of Akira, but it's actually interesting to watch this train wreck in process.
I'm just happy they paid money for this, the less money the idiots who green-lighted this turd have the better, giving it to the creator of Akira is icing on the cake.

CaptainMarvelous:

Manga gets more across of the characters if that helps. But even in the movie I always found Tetsuo's shift from inferiority complex to deity really interesting, he'd never had to take responsibility for his actions because he had no power and Kaneda always protected him so when he had LOADS of power and Kaneda refused to let their roles be reversed, he lost his grip a little bit and did reprehensible shit just because he genuinely couldn't understand what it meant to be in the position he was...

Finally, someone who gets it. I think a lot of people can't seem to get past all the shouting of "Kanadaaaaaaaaaaaaa!" and "Tetsuooooooooooooooooo!" to see the character development in the quiet moments. There's things like the way Tetsuo takes out his powerlessness with Kanada on Kaori before realising he was being a dick. Then you have the brash, second in command Yamagata and the subservient but genial Kai. They're not given much screen time to develop, but they're not "boring", especially if you've read the anime. The only thing that seems a bit forced is the way Kanada falls for Kei (what's with all the "K"s?), but that's a minor quibble and again the anime expands on that.

The original Akira movie was pretty overratted. Besides its phenomenally awesome animation, it's story was great for the first 40 minutes then stumbled to an ending for the rest of the movie. The characters were pretty thin, making it hard to care for any of them.

Akira the manga however, was about 6 volumes. Each volume was around 300 pages each. They tried to cram that into an hour and 40 minutes with the movie. It looked pretty but barely made sense.

If the director of this live action movie had simply read the manga, he'd have a better idea on how to flesh out the characters due to not having to work with basically blank slates.

Welp, this adaptation is DOOM-ED. Though I did dig "Chronicle", that's a pretty stupid generalization for this guy to make. Especially considering the plethora of movies/literature/videogames/manga/anime that are chock full-o fantastic and singular characters.

That said, it ain't like "Akira" (The movie, I've yet to dig into the manga) was some grand Shakespearean work, so I can see where he's coming from in reference to it.

Innegativeion:
Never seen Akira, nor read the manga, but JEE-ZUSS,

broad sweeping generalizations (patently false one, in this case) never fail to make a person seem like a gigantic douchebag.

personally i found the first half of the movie interesting but the second half seems to be written after someone spiked the writers food and drink with lsd

ThatDarnCoyote:


There. Harry Partridge just saved them 3 years and $150 million.

lol when i watched this vid way back i though it was spot on, and the way this guy goes on makes me feel like he is trying to justify making it shit and just like every other hollywood watered down over hyped crap.

I know that Akira is a thing, but I've never seen it nor have been interested in doing so, but I do know that if a guy that I know nothing about says that it has nothing interesting about it... there's something weird there.

I will agree that Akira's characters weren't particularly complex and that they are indeed worth fleshing out. However, while I don't have a deep knowledge of Japan's philosophy on story-telling and characterization, him making that broad of a statement means I'm not seeing whatever the hell this thing turns out to be on sheer principle.

Lunar Templar:
>.>

No ... not even Tetsuo was interesting. No one was, the movie just isn't that good no matter how you look at it.

As for the 'Japan doesn't make strong story's' line.

That's funny at how laughably wrong that is (Grave of the Fire Fly's says hi, so does Wolf Children)

But what ever, his 'corrections' will likely make a below average movie worse, so at least we have the train wreck to look forward to.

Yeah, I mean what's interesting about a person discovering power that no man should possess as they gradually learn to control and abuse it, eventually alienating all those that he called friends since childhood to form a dictatorship as his former best friend works with the people that created him to put a stop to his reign as he gradually loses control over his own body as the metaphor of an all consuming but childish nature personifies itself as a huge, all consuming mess of flesh resembling a foetus?

In any case, the live action version is supposed to be more manga focused and that had 6 volumes as thick as phone books. There's a lot more fleshed out in there. The movie came out before the manga was even finished.

This is one of those times when you need a position in the script-writing process called the Book Smacker. They've read the source material and know everything about it through and through. When someone on the project says "It's good, but what if-", they're immediately smacked with the book.

Fox12:

You used Berserk as an example of interesting and good characters.

My love for you...is like a truck.

Here's a new headline for you: "Online Anime Fan Says Live Action Akira Director Is A Braindead, Talentless Hack".

RedmistSM:
"Never have strong characters", COME ON.

He's not wrong about the characters being flat in Akira though. The most interesting character is Tetsuo, because of all the changes he goes through, but the rest aren't very well developed. It's an action movie plot(or rather six of them), characters are not one of the stronger points and it's never the focus of that story. Having said that, I don't think I disliked any of the characters. They aren't bad, there just isn't much to them and they get short scenes so the action moves.

It's not really unique to the Akira anime either. Even in the Manga most of the characters are kinda flat and one note. Nothing ressembling an arc or story to the lot of them, save maybe Tetsuo. If they could be fleshed out a bit without radically altering their base characters or the overall story it would go a long way to actually building on and improving the story.

As a western non Japanese Example, honestly most of Tolkiens characters as written are a little flat and dull. At least outside of a core few. Tolkiens love was the world and the lore and the language. The actual characters were more just there to carry the rest along. Boromir in the books was a kind of un interesting douche. Now compare that to his portrayal by Sean Bean on screen. Love or Hate Jackson's adaptions, Boromir stands as the one thing he did right. Just a few simple lines or emotions here and there. A little back story and suddenly he becomes a full fledged character that had audiences in tears when he died.

If someone is bright enough to do this with Akira, to actually make Kaneda less of a flat one note douche, and to give him some personality and motivation, who am I to complain?

looks like most people have already said what I was going to say.

I'll just say this. I really, REALLY want to give him the benefit of the doubt that he couldn't put what he meant in words properly, and he's not a racist ass. Because really it sounds like the quote would apply to everything to come out of japan. And yeah, it's really stupid. In the end, I did not care for akira. The animation was the best part, the writing had major issues. If it was just that, I would agree with him, but taken the rest of his quote... I really can't. honestly, I never read the comic it was based off, but I think I heard it was 6 volumes and the movie always felt like a rushed adaption. Like it was more concerned with hitting all the nessarcy plot points as opposed to developing the characters. So no, I really don't care. If this crashes and burns, I really don't care. I just hope this prick never gets his hands on beserk.

if he is losing interest or thinks the characters are not interesting then he needs to either 1 re-watch anime or 2 look for a new movie to direct.

StewShearer:
That's part of the Japanese culture, they never have strong characters.

Coming from someone whose only experience with Japanese animation is Doramon, Pokemon, Hayao Miyazaki's works and Cowboy Bebop: you take those fucking words back, sir. I really hope this is either a slip of the tongue or a badly worded statement, because that's just an extremely generalized statement of Japanese media.

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