It's apparently official: The live-action Akira film is dead. Director Albert Hughes walked away from it a while back, and by all accounts nobody else is stepping up.
Top image: Petraleo on Deviantart
But there's at least one reason to be glad that we may never get our live-action Akira movie. Designer Chris Weston posted a blog post about the year he spent working on this project, which began with a blasphemy:
Well, I can tell you that on my first day on the job I was asked to "redesign the bike"! Yes, that's right: THE bike.
I was as horrified as you are; probably more, 'cos I was the one the fanboys were going to come for when they inevitably declared it a travesty.
In my defence, I would say at least I brought a love of Katsuhoro Otomo's art and an admiration of his design aesthetic to the table. I didn't want to stray too far away from the classic design. However, one has to admit that faithful real-life reproductions of Kaneda's bike do look a little bit "kitsch" ...
So the version I created was a bit meatier and nastier: the tyres were bigger, the engine was bigger, some of the casing was stripped off to expose the workings beneath. Kaneda was in a motorcycle gang that used these vehicles as weapons, so we gave it a more beaten-up look, dirtier, a few dents and scratches here and there.
Actually, this could have been horrible, or okay. It's hard to tell from his description. It doesn't sound that promising, though — Kaneda's bike is one of the iconic images from the original. In any case, it sounds like everybody involved with Akira is now comfortably talking about the project in the past tense. [via Cinemablend]