Indie Spotlight: Live-Action Fan-Made AKIRA Project

     May 10, 2014


Hollywood has been taking their sweet time with a live-action adaptation of Akira, but this first look at the work from a group of passionate fans suggests we might not need the “professional” version after all.  Normally on our Indie Spotlight, we bring you campaigns that are in the process of raising funds for a particularly interesting project, but today’s feature shows off the fruits of one team’s crowd-funded labor.  Having started an IndieGoGo campaign in mid-2012, the Akira Project managed to go into production later that year, and now that they’ve spent over a year in post-production, the first trailer for their live-action Akira film is available for all to see.  Hit the jump for more on the Akira Project and to check out the trailer.

Take a look at the trailer for the fan-made Akira Project below, and be sure to head over to their webpage, Facebook page, and follow along on Twitter for more:

The Akira Project is a crowd-sourced, non-profit project meant to create a live action fan trailer of AKIRA, the renowned manga-turned-anime film from the late 1980′s; a stunning example of both mediums as art forms. While Hollywood has been working on a live-action Akira movie for a few years now, we, as fans, wanted to take a shot at making our own adaptation. A chance to stick as close to the source material as possible. A chance to do Akira Justice.

akira-projectWe launched an Indiegogo campaign in July 2012 as part of a crowd sourcing effort to make this project come to life. Many people contributed not just financially but offered their time and talent to help the production that was shot in Montreal, Quebec from November 2-5th 2012. What started out as a simple idea between two guys having a beer (Hey! It’d be cool to see Kaneda ride his bike around Neo-Tokyo!), became a global endeavour, filled with adventures and hurdles, involving more than 40 artists in 12 different countries.

After a year and a half in post-production, we are proud to present the project to Akira fans the world over. We hope to have done justice to the timeless work of Katsuhiro Otomo and look forward to, someday, seeing the full scope of the Akira story translated to the big screen as a live-action.

For more information:
Production company:



  • MCP

    Yea, just watched this off of Facebook. Looks really good!! To bad whenever the Hollywood version gets made, it’ll probably look nothing like this…

    • MellyDanielsisf321

      Ernest responded I am amazed that people able to profit $9067 in 4 weeks on the
      internet . try here F­i­s­c­a­l­p­o­s­t­.­C­O­M­


      I would like this as a TV show but as a movie this really would suck. It was on point as far as look goes I’m sure WB’s will learn from fan out cry. I hate what hollywood did to the DBZ movie
      and I can see why they held this back. Hopefully by the end of this year they have a script and the director dose not walk off. Side note I like the fact the director makes suspense/action movies already and has confidence that he can make this happen.

  • Django9000

    That bike … wow. Home made fx & costumes look great. Actors clearly care about the material.
    Music is also really solid- reminiscent of that iconic soundtrack from the original anime.

    Was cool to see scenes from later in the books that weren’t even in the movie, like Kay taking on Tetsuo in psy-mode. Alas, Leo Dicaprio is more likely to whitewash the casting. Holding out hope that the ginormous greater China market & all its amazingly talented actors & actresses could change his mind.

    Ken Watanabe as the Colonel, or the Doctor even? Any of the Fast & Furious supporting cast as Kaneda & his gang? (Hopefully Japanese actors/actresses). Storm Shadow from GI Joe could make a good Kaneda or Tetsuo. I swear, modern anime fans don’t know what they’re missing if they haven’t seen this masterpiece.

    • Zack Snyder

      China only wants Chinese actors and Kaneda is a Japanese.

      Having said that, the only person I would be happy to play Kaneda is Daniel Wu. Tetsuo can be a white guy.

      • MJ

        Phew, you had me worried there for a bit. Thanks.


        I agree. As a black man I can only strongly agree that they change the race of minorities all the time. They were always replaced with white guys,and that’s what they want to do with this SMFH. I think that who ever gets offers the main should be Asian and build melting pot cast around him. This could be one of those next to the new StarWars which already has black lead.

  • Smartgunner

    This looks bas-ass! Japanese actors, the bikes and effects look great, awesome job! Would much rather see this than a set in NY, ‘Hollywood’ version.

  • Lance

    That was actually pretty cool.

  • tarek

    Total non sense. It looks like a movie made by a Malick under ecstasy.
    But the intro was nice to watch to.

    • MJ

      Good bait for Lord Jim. LOL

      • tarek


  • Chris Meier

    Well done! Definitely one of the best fan-made projects I’ve ever seen!

  • vitextreeradar

    hire this man

  • MJ

    Looks like a cheap 80′s film with a soundtrack done by Deiter from SNL.

    • Grendal Sven

      And will still probably be better than any white-washed garbage Hollywood throws at us. I hope they never manage to get it off the ground.

    • Fabdex

      I guess you don’t know what Akira is.

      • MJ

        If this is what an objective person not that familiar with it thinks from seeing this video, then this has no chance to make it in the mainstream. It looks like a kiddie thing. Sorry.

  • DEADP00L

    This is the beginning of the end for Hollywood. Mark it down, fanmade is going to be what the smartphones were to cellphones.

    • Frank

      …I dunno, this kind of feels like the T-Mobile Sidekick of films to me.

      • DEADP00L

        It’s just the beginning.

    • tarek

      Hollywood went bankrupt since a while. But I don’t see the future of cinema in this fan made mishmash. The trailer doesn’t tell any story. Just a Tron like sequences.
      And anyway, a trailer is not a guarantee of quality.

      • DEADP00L

        They virtually said the same thing about smartphones now Nokia, Sony Ericsson and blackberry etc are in the craper. Don’t be fooled, people are sick of the writers in Hollywood and even sicker of it’s lack of any new ideas. Fanfiction writers time and again prove where the good writing is and all fans have the tech in their own cameras now. So every restless and loyal fan is a director, writer, screenwriter and actor in the making of our generation. Hollywood and its studios can’t make back this loss unless there is some MAJOR overhaul right to its very core.

      • tarek

        Sorry, but those cool guys will never deliver something remotely comparable to what I can have with the likes of Sam Rockwell for the acting, or a cinematography similar to what can deliver a Tarsem Singh or a Ridley Scott.
        It is good to have indie movies, But for Movies of that kind, you need high calibers.

      • DEADP00L

        Inde used to be regarded in that very same light .

        Oh yee of little faith and vision. Each director started out from scrap using nothing but a hand held at some point or another. Imagine Ridley Scott being born to our generation what would he have achieved with the kind of tech we all possess? He held back in his youth and so did other directors because they were restrained by the limits of tech in their time. Imagine all his earlier work being filmed in todays world; all virtually limitless in their execution. George Lucas, his Star Wars first being filmed in todays world without corporate red tape and his ideas unsoiled by his eventual corruption. What is Peter Jackson but a fanfiction director and his team fan fiction writers? Now imagine him not beholden to the bottom line? Imagine every writer and director you ever admired never being around until this century, with literally no red tape or studio execs to hold them back – it’d be bliss. No one would be afraid to have an idea.

        Doubt is only ensuring that the Scotts of our generation remain suppressed at best, at worst they waste away their ideas and years working for slime balls or trying to make it on their own and normally end up filming porn in an industry that in your words is ‘bankrupt’ – the fans have ideas where as Hollywood hasn’t had an idea for a generation.

        I won’t write fans off I’ve seen way too many gifted people to believe they don’t have the same potential as a Scott.

      • tarek

        Maybe I wasn’t clear enough.

        I have nothing against indie movies. au contraire. We need fresh ideas, new approaches and Technics.

        but this is No fresh ideas nor new approach. It is a pale copy of what Michael Bay is doing again and again. soulless video game movies.

        The acting is bad. No catching dialogues, nothing to excite our imagination. It looks exactly like a fan made trailer.

        I don’t want to bash the guys who delivered this trailer, but to say that this is the future of cinema…sorry but this is not what I expect of the future of the cinema.

      • DEADP00L

        THIS is not the future of cinema the method is.

      • paul h

        What trailer ever tells a story? A trailer is just a bunch of images that’re supposed to get you excited for the film, this did that for me :D

      • tarek

        If it is a known franchise, you can easily see what is going on throughout the trailer. who are the protagonists and who are the villains. You can’t have a truthful image on the final product, but you know that the movie will make sense with excerpts from climax.

        On this one, it’s just like a disjointed collection of unrelated sequences, the kind of video Leeloo was watching in 5th Element. A pack of explosions without any relation between them.

      • axalon

        You are the sole voice of sanity here, man

  • LEM

    It’s the Deus Ex:Human Revolution soundtrack.

  • Max Rockatansky

    It’s not that hard to use and keep some of the main character name in Japan. The movie should take place in Japan. Either make the white actor Kaneda(mix race) and Tetsuo either one is born in Japan and the other who moved to Japan when he was young(father/mother have a job there) and change his name to Japanese name.

    Masaru or an American name=Peter Dinklage
    Colonel Shikishima or Ryu=Ken Watanabe
    Kaneda=Joseph Gordon-Levitt
    Tetsuo=Dane DeHaan
    Kei=Rinko Kikuchi

  • Cedhollywood

    Not bad but the use of close ups and really quick jump cut editing was a bit much to cover up the obvious.

  • liquid

    I came

  • Grayden

    The music is from Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Icarus Theme) and is quite possibly one of the greatest themes ever to come out of the gaming industry. It gives me chills every time I hear it.

    • MJ

      Are you kidding me? Sounds like 80′s German disco. Barf!!!

      • Strong Enough


  • ReplicantZero

    For the most part I think it’s really well done, but the Deus Ex theme totally takes me out of it. It’s too recognizable to use as the sole soundtrack the entire thing, especially considering how close both properties are in terms of subject/theme. They should’ve stuck to the Akira soundtrack or found a less recognizable theme.

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  • Strong Enough


  • alk

    Why are people so quick to praise this and support it over hollywood? This has the problems that people complain about the downfall of Hollywood There’s too much emphasis on the visuals. Where the eff is the story, acting, structuring? Same problem with the Dragonball trailer a year or two ago…just taking some established characters from a cartoon and translating them and having them scream and do various action scenes in front of Green screen is not enough.
    Granted it’s just a trailer(a long 3 minute trailer at that) but if someone’s gonna crowd fund a project like this, I wanna see story and some meaning to it. I’d be embarassed to have donated money to a trailer that after a first viewing is gonna be forgotten about because it lacks anything else that we care about.
    I just don’t get it. If you have the money, you might as well make a short series, even if it doesn’t last, at least you’ll get your money’s worth from the crowd funding, instead of in a meaningless, 3 minute heavily cut trailer.

    • MJ

      Yea, this looks like a 15-year old came up with it. I completely agree.

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  • Lucas Accardo

    Look great, much better than the typical screw up that hollywood’s gonna make.