The Live-Action Akira Remake Is Dead. Long Live, Live-Action Akira Remake.

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It’s over, guys. The racebending, controversial, never-really-in-production live-action remake of the classic anime Akira appears to have totally fallen apart. After director Albert Hughes walked away from the project at the end of May and possible star Keanu Reeves passed on the project, no one else really wanted to step up. And word came from production designer Chris Weston in a recent blog post that the entire thing just “floundered.” So, that’s that. And now Keanu won’t have a potentially horrible movie making him all depressed.

While there is no official word on the part of Warner Bros., Weston’s take on the production seems to indicate that this thing is one nail short of a sealed coffin. He’d been assigned the monumental task of designing the real-life version of Kaneda’s bike among other artistic aspects of the film:

I produced tons of other character designs, storyboards and concept designs for Akira, and hopefully they’ll eventually see the light of day.

I know as much as you about why this film production ultimately floundered. It’s not my place to ask my employers such questions. There’s all sorts of rumours about the casting issues floating around the net, but most of it is bollocks, I believe.

As recently as May, WB said they were definitely still in production, but since Weston has felt allowed to discuss certain aspects of Akira that he hadn’t before (though he did spill that they wanted to make the iconic red bike black — he got them to agree on a deep burgundy), that all but confirms that this movie won’t be happening after all. And that’s probably for the best, because the casting suggestions were driving people mad over issues of race. Really, do we want to see Zac Efron or Robert Pattinson anywhere near this? Keanu Reeves was smart to back off of this.

(Chris Weston via io9)

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