Paramount’s “Ghost in the Shell” live-action adaptation this week could well be seen as something of a testing ground to see if the grand daddy of all anime – “Akira” – is ready for its live-action Hollywood remake.
Attempts have been made for much of the past decade to get an “Akira” live-action English-language feature based on Katsuhiro Otomo’s iconic manga and anime franchise going at Warner Bros. Pictures.
So far they’ve had little success with directors coming and going, the most recent attachment being Jaume Collet-Serra who left last year. Meet the Movie Press, which reported back in June that Justin Lin (“Star Trek Beyond”) was in negotiations to take over, now says that it’s down to two helmers – Daniel Espinosa (“Life”) and David Sandberg (“Lights Out”).
WB has had the rights since 2008 and actors like Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Ken Watanabe, Ezra Miller, Morgan Freeman, Keanu Reeves, Gary Oldman and Helena Bonham Carter have all been attached at one time or another.
Live-action anime/manga adaptations can work though, as evidenced by the acclaimed and solidly performing “Edge of Tomorrow”. With both “Death Note” and “Battle Angel Alita” film adaptations also on the way, we could well see this finally moving forward.