hughes brothers in talks to direct live-action akira

There's been a lot of talk over the years about a live-action Hollywood adaptation of Akira, based on Katsuhiro Otomo's graphic novel.. Last I heard, it was in serious development at Warner Bros., then I heard it wasn't happening anymore, and then I heard it was on again.

Last week, Variety reported that Allen and Albert Hughes are in talks to direct it: Hughes brothers in talks for 'Akira.' Mostly recently, the Hughes brothers directed The Book of Eli. So they've done the post-apocalyptic thing.

As I've said before, I think this is a bad idea. Not because I have anything against the Hughes brothers, but because I think this project -- and how they plan to adapt the story for American audiences -- is all wrong.

No more Neo-Tokyo. Instead: New Manhattan, "a metropolis that was rebuilt after being destroyed 31 years earlier." So much of what I love about Akira has to do with with issues inherent to its Japanese setting -- grappling with anxiety over technology, disaffected youth, living in the post-nuclear age.

The 1988 animated feature is such a landmark film, it's just hard to imagine the story being adapted any other way. And yes, you can probably bet that all the kids in the film -- Kaneda, Tetsuo and the gang -- are not going to be Japanese. More here: Book Of Eli Directors Want Akira Next.

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