If you haven’t heard of Akira, consider this an important lesson in global popular culture. Originally a six-part manga comic written and illustrated by Katsuhiro Otomo, Akira is dystopian post-apocalyptic cyberpunk fable of violence, corruption, and power that was eventually turned into a two hour animated epic considered by many to be the greatest work of animated science fiction, ever. So, if you haven’t yet, maybe you should go watch it.
And of course, Hollywood has been aching to sink its sugary sweet teeth into a live action adaptation for the better part of two decades, but due to endless setbacks, the studios have never quite been able to get it off the ground. These ongoing difficulties, however, have been a huge relief to fans of Otomo’s original who are rightfully wary of Hollywood’s knack for totally botching and crassly Americanizing live action anime.
Unsurprisingly, when Warner Brothers recently announced they were taking yet another whack at the live action Akira piñata, a lot of digital grumbling started making its way through the interwebs. But this time there was a faint ray of optimism: signed on to write the adaptation is Miami-born award-winning Latino playwright, television scribe, and showrunner for Netflix’s Daredevil, Marco Ramírez.
Indeed, not only is Ramírez a Juilliard-trained wordsmith, but he is also a bit of a geek himself, and his Daredevil credentials make him uniquely qualified to carry out a comic book adaptation for the big screen. Still TBD is who Warner Bros will tap for the director’s chair, but given that the last helmer attached to the project was Catalán director Jaume Collet-Serra, it appears there may be a peculiar Hispanic aura around this project.
But whoever it may be, Manga/Anime heads can rest assured that at least the screenplay is in good hands.