Even though production was shut down in January, more information keeps coming in about Warner Bros.' proposed Akira remake. On the heels of last week's storyboards, today Toby Kebbell shed some more light on this live-action manga remake. The actor was one of the top contenders to play Tetsuo, but now that the project has been shelved, he revealed the studio wanted to make Kaneda and Tetsuo brothers.
"I was desperate to play Tetsuo, but Tetsuo in the comic and annual form. He's brilliant in the anime, but if you know anything about the comics, they cut so much of the story out. You care about him, because it's brilliantly done, but you don't really care about Kaneda, who isn't. The other thing they wanted to do was make [Tetsuo and Kaneda] brothers. I was like, 'The point is that Tetsuo can't comprehend how someone who isn't his brother could love him so much - and that's where his wrath and his rage come from. Do you not see that? Why have you made them brothers? What the fuck are you doing?'"
He also pitched the studio a take on the project, dividing the six annuals into three movies, although Warner Bros. didn't quite agree with that prospect.
"I'm probably never going to get an opportunity again to do [Akira]. They were like, 'This is going to be a big franchise!' So I said, 'Then in that case, understand that I've read the comics, and I've read the comics that got turned into the annuals, and then the annuals that got turned into the one-off anime. So if you really want to do it, then why don't you look at the six comics and just put two into each film?' That way my character, Tetsuo, is not the lead. He's not the second lead, and he's not the third or the fourth lead, because there are eight major characters there. You've got great young actors, and you could get them in there. That's the way to do it if you want to do sequels. They were like, 'Welllll...' So I told them, 'Then this is a remake [of the animated movie], and I don't want to do a live-action remake of the cartoon, because [the cartoon] is perfect and you're not going to do it dark enough - so therefore, I don't want to do it.'"
Akira was shut down so the studio could bring the $90 million budget down to a more manageable figure. There hasn't been any movement on this project since January, and it isn't clear if this will ever get off the ground.