Discuss: Can the Brothers Hughes Do ‘Akira’ Justice?

We’ve been following the life, death and resurrection of a live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s “Akira” for some time now. All the original news has stayed the same. Leonardo Dicaprio’s Appian Way is still producing (which means he might just wear the great pill jacket), Warners is partnering, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby wrote the script, it’s still two movies.

But the x-factor that’s been missing, the thing keeping it from moving forward in our minds was the lack of a directorial vision.

And now there might be two.

According to Vulture, The Hughes Brothers are stepping off their success with The Book of Eli (and I mean that strictly in the artistic sense), and might just get the job from Warners to helm Akira. However, it’s not explicit as to whether they’d be on for both films or just the first with an option.

I personally like the idea. They aren’t the flashiest directors or the most innovative but they are sturdy. They’re dependable. They are talented directors who need a good, complex script as a challenge. That’s really where most of the failing stemmed from for Eli, and although they are ultimately responsible for what made it into the frames, it’ll be interesting to see them tackle something from the pair that gave us Iron Man.

In a great tangled web, Gary Whitta (the screenwriter of The Book of Eli) was at one point named to be writing the Akira films, but it’s now in the hands of Ostby and Fergus – writers who wrote drafts of Children of Men, a movie that the Hughes Brothers directly took visual concepts from. It all comes back around, friends.

The question is whether or not these two can handle one of the most difficult stories in modern culture, an icon of both manga and anime, and deliver a rich, textured, exciting action film.

And can they both do it while looking exactly alike?

What do you think?

A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

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