Has there been one live-action adaptation of an Anime property that has been halfway decent? (We’re not talking about porn adaptations. After all, who’s going to object to a naked Ranma going down on a naked girl Ranma?) To see how bad live-action Western anime movies can be, you only have to look at Dragon Ball – wait, never mind. No one looked at Dragon Ball. But still, Hollywood continues to think that adapting Japanese stories can make them money, which explains next year’s planned adaptation of one of the true Anime greats…Akira. (Rumors abound that they’re casting Morgan Freeman as The Colonel and Zac Effron as Kaneda.)
Screenrant has gotten hold of the proposed script and it sounds like it couldn’t get any worse. They’ve americanized the script so that instead of Neo-Tokyo, it takes place in “New Manhattan,” which was created because old Manhattan was devastated by a terrorist nuke attack. Oh, and Tetsuo’s now called Travis, which is a horrible name in any language.
We also get a new character, Ray Arcman, the scientist that created super-human Akira and those creepy old kids we saw in the original Akira. Perhaps most strangely, the most iconic sequence in the original film – Tetsuo’s expanding into a giant blob of goo – is really downplayed and apparently takes place in one small scene. Oh, and Kaneda doesn’t use a laser gun during that sequence, but a Tec-9. Man, you’d think the one sequence that actually calls for Hollywood special effects rather than a good script would be the one thing they’d keep.