Akira is a globally beloved cultural touchstone. Individuals all over the globe thrill to the adventures of Kaneda and Tetsuo. Akira is so popular all throughout the globe that American film studios have tried to adapt the manga/anime into a live action film numerous times. The most recent attempt was set to star Kristen Stewart, Dane Dehaan, Morgan Freeman, and Ken Watanabe.
Thankfully, this ill advised attempt at remaking Akira failed. The film was transposed to America with the events of the film transpiring within Neo-New York. I can’t think of a worse direction to take that adaptation. Here’s hoping the inevitable next attempt will be better.
In the mean time you can check out these concept paintings of what COULD have been.
Here’s a bit of background:
The Espers came together when Takashi, Masaru, and Kiyoko developed psychic powers and were taken to the Nursery with the original intention to develop their potential for political purposes. They met and befriended each other and Akira, but were left behind under the care of Colonel Shikishima and the scientists when Akira transcended to a godlike existence and destroyed the original Tokyo in the process. To prevent a future psychic explosion, the Espers were fed drugs to inhibit their developing powers, with the side effects of suffering physical impairments – Kiyoko eventually became bedridden and Masaru was afflicted with polio. The drugs also inhibited their physical growth but they aged along with everyone else, appearing in the early 40’s.