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The live-action Hollywood version of G.O.A.T. anime Akira has been stuck in development hell for years. It seems like an almost impossible thing to get right — not only is the storyline of the manga incredibly dense and complicated, the original movie is so iconic and beloved that it is likely to only disappoint fans; plus there is the ‘whitewashing’ issue, where the casting for the previously announced (and abandoned) versions have had originally Japanese characters to be played by white actors, and subsequently faced plenty of online scorn.
After various attempts to get it made, with names like Leonardo DiCaprio and Gary Oldman attached, it looked like it might have been dead. But now Meet The Movie Press are reporting a rumour that it’s back on, and Fast & Furious parts four to six director Justin Lin is in talks to helm it, after he makes the Space Jam sequel with LeBron. Lin is a great choice for several reasons. One, he’s really just proved himself to be one of the best directors of mainstream action movies. Akira also famously has some incredible scenes with motorbike street gangs, and Lin has experience making movies about street racing. Finally, with a production that’s faced claims of whitewashing quite a lot in the past, it’s nice to see an Asian director being offered the job. Lin isn’t Japanese (he has Taiwanese-American heritage), but it’s a possible nod to chance that they won’t make the film all-Caucasian.
In theory, a live-action Akira could be spectacular. Let's see how this plays out in practice.
[via AV Club]