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Live-Action ‘Akira’ Movie Still Alive

To say that the “Akira” anime is a classic is perhaps an understatement. For many American viewers, seeing Kaneda scream “TETSUOOOOO” on the (then) Sci-Fi Channel was our first experience of Japanese animation. Before “Ghost in Shell,” before almost anyone had heard of Miyazaki, there was “Akira,” and it blew our minds.

When I heard that a live-action version was in development last year, I can’t pretend that I didn’t feel more trepidation than anything else. Live-action versions of anime have a pretty mixed history, and it’s easy to have doubts about bringing Katsuhiro Otomo’s visually arresting world of post-apocalyptic cyberpunk and giant seething masses of human flesh without spending a gajillion dollars to do it right, not to mention getting the right creative team on board.

The good news is that the Hawk Ostby and Mark Fergus who wrote the excellent “Children of Men” and “Iron Man” are the ones working on the script, and I’m at least optimistic about 1) the fact that we could still see a film version from Warner Bros. by 2011 and 2) that it might actually be good. Wait and see on both counts.

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