Whenever a beloved anime gets adapted by Hollywood, things don’t usually end well. ‘Dragonball: Evolution’ and ‘Ghost In The Shell’ quickly come to mind, but the upcoming Netflix version of ‘Death Note’ isn’t exactly being well received by fans so far. However, when it comes to ‘Akira’, it would seem that there is one safeguard in place to keep a potential adaptation on the right track.
During a rare interview with Forbes, ‘Akira’ creator Katsuhiro Otomo revealed that though he may largely be done with his iconic anime and manga, he still has the final say before anyone does anything with it. While he’s open to other people telling their version of the story, the legendary manga artist, screenwriter, and director made sure that he would have to give that project his blessing before it could move forward, including a big budget live-action epic from some Hollywood studio:
“While I haven’t seen the new live-action ‘Ghost in the Shell’, when it comes to ‘Akira’ I have already finished the original manga and my own anime version too. So in that sense, I am basically done with ‘Akira’.
If someone wants to do something new with ‘Akira’ then I am mostly okay with that. As I accepted the offer for a live-action ‘Akira’ to be made, so I am generally okay with whatever they want to do with it. However, I did give one major condition to a live-action version and that is that I had to check and approve the scenario.”
‘Akira’ fans have likely given a huge sigh of relief upon hearing this news. But just how far does Otomo’s gatekeeping extend? Does he only have a say in the story? Or is he able to have input in the casting process as well? Regardless of just how much power he holds, it’s still comforting to know that Warner Bros. can’t just do whatever they want with one of the most beloved anime properties to ever exist.
What do you think about Katsuhiro Otomo having a say in whatever adaptations of ‘Akira’ may arise? Do you think that this will affect any sort of developments WB has made over the years as they try to bring a live-action film based on the anime to life? Let us know what you think in the comments.