HARRY POTTER Screenwriter Steve Kloves to Work on AKIRA Script

     February 18, 2011


Warner Bros. has hired Harry Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves to do a polish on the script for the Hughes Brothers’ adaptation of the Japanese manga Akira.  For those unfamiliar with the manga and the 1988 anime adaptation, the story centers on teenager Shōtarō Kaneda and his quest to stop his friend Tetsuo from destroying Neo-Tokyo.  Per Variety, “the latest version of the script was penned by Albert Torres (Henry Poole Is Here), with earlier drafts by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby and Gary Whitta.”  The problem is that “polish” is a very flexible word when it comes to script work and there aren’t any details on what Kloves’ polish will entail.  However, since Kloves has done strong work on the Harry Potter films (he wrote all of them except for Order of the Phoenix), he seems like the right guy to take a crack at helping to condense the six-volume manga into a live-action feature film.

As we reported yesterday, Warner Bros. won’t greenlight the film until they can attach a major star to play Kaneda.  Strangely, Vulture’s story said that Warners was courting Brad Pitt for Kaneda (he passed on the role), which could mean that the script has re-tooled the character to be significantly older.

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  • MarsHottentot

    This project is radioactive. What they should do is call it something else and say it’s “heavily indebted to AKIRA”. To do it right it as AKIRA it would HAVE to be made with Japanese actors and be in Japan, otherwise you’ll have to do all of these storytelling acrobatics to explain why you have a white guy in the lead role (let’s face it – in America, it’s gonna be a white guy) it’s called AKIRA, not CAREY.

    However if you change the name and keep the basic plot, you have the room to do whatever you want. Just make sure word gets out that it’s a ‘gaijin’ take on the themes in AKIRA. Fan response will be much more favorable as it’s no longer pretending to be something it’s not.

    Anything else is a waste of time, resources and most importantly… MONEY.

    • Kevin

      Totally agree with you. What is the point of this? They should be honest and not call it AKIRA – Maybe they think they’re going to gain some kind of easy audience for this by tagging on to its coat tails but it’s going to backfire.

      Do they think nobody’s seen the original and won’t make comparisons? AKIRA the film is nearly 25 years old – We’re talking about crossing generations here!

      Everyone who loves AKIRA is going to look at this and see each and every one of even the tiniest things that are wrong with it. Never mind that it might (possibly) have some good features, it’s going to have a lot to live up to and it’s going to have a hell of a job not turning into a generic buddy, action movie a la Bad Boys or Fled (it might not even be as good as those two, which probably isn’t saying much.)

      So much of what makes AKIRA special is its cultural and artistic themes which resonated with the original audience and which fascinated us in the west. To remake it outside of those guiding parameters is to lose the essence of the original.

      Also, the original was re-released not so long ago on BluRay and as well as looking amazing after restoration, still has the same impact so it just seems pointless and absurd for anyone to imagine that they can live up to it. They’re not going to get away with a “reboot” on this one.

  • ringbearer1420

    Good to know you can do a totally hack on several book adaptations and still get a list work. Now that’s what I call job security.

  • Ryan Ambrose

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt for Kaneda.

    Or whatever new non-japanese name they will most certainly come up with for the protagonist.

    Someone make it happen.

    If that doesn’t happen just re-release the damn original film in theaters, it still holds up amazingly well despite its age.

    In fact I think it beats 90% of all the CGI animated crap we have today.

  • aaronsullivan

    I just can’t get my head around what the final product would be given the info that has leaked and why anyone would bother attaching it Akira. I guess I’m just too attached to the original which made an impression on me in my youth. Seeing an animated movie like that on the big screen was really brain melting.

  • sir douche

    Just the fact the Hughes Brothers’ are making this ensures it will fail. They simply don’t have the chops or style to pull it off.

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