I've had a few people ask me what I think about the current Hollywood project to make a live-action version of Akira. To be perfectly honest, I'm excited! Everyone else seems appalled, but let's think about this rationally.
Firstly, we haven't seen the script or the storyboards, so we don't know if they are doing an accurate recreation or simply an interpretation to represent Western culture. Gary Oldman seems to like the script, and he's picked some big winners in the past. Who are we to argue with Commissioner Gordon?
Secondly, the cast has still to be finalized, so all of this speculation about how "it's gonna suck if Bella is in the damn thing," is just that: speculation. It looks like they are approaching a lot of greenhorns for some of the major roles, and that can be equally good as it can be bad. All in all, if Twitch is reporting accurately, then I think WB seems to be heading in the right direction in terms of casting, but again, NOTHING is finalized, so quit your griping.
My third point: Akira is an awesome piece of sci-fi history! I mean, it is one of the only anime titles to be so well known, to the point where some classify it as sci-fi first, then mention it is anime. While Hollywood has an exceptional knack for ruining awesome stories, sometimes they get it right, and we shouldn't be so quick to judge. With the current political and economic climate I think this is the right time to revisit the post-apocalyptic world depicted in Akira. I think that we need stronger sci-fi representation in film these days, and this might be the adaptation to do it.
All in all, I'm happy anytime anime and/or manga are brought to the forefront in North America, since it needs more promotion over here if we want to keep the industry going. Think of it this way: if the WB version of Akira does bite it big time as a movie, it will just encourage people to pick up the original! So, as stated at the beginning, I am excited for the new live-action Akira, if only so that I can pass judgement on it when it comes out, and not before-hand.