News just broke that Jordan Peele (record-setting writer/director of Get Out and half of comedy duo Key and Peele) is in serious talks with Warner Bros. to direct the live action remake of Akira, which has been in the works since 2011. We’re already excited to see what this geeky genius does with the dystopian nightmare of a narrative, especially since his directorial debut — Get Out — has received such critical acclaim.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Akira property, it started as a manga in the early ‘80s, but it was the feature-length animated film released in 1988 that really made Akira a household name in the west.
Katsuhiro Otomo’s brainchild follows the story of Tetsuo, a street-racing punk in Neo-Tokyo with unraveling psychic abilities of apocalyptic proportions. The futuristic masterpiece speaks to the modern individual’s struggle in a way that makes it increasingly (and frighteningly) relevant and, because of this, it’s left an indelible mark on Gen-Xers and Millennials alike who frequently honor it in the form of body art.
The tattoo adaptations of Akira emulate the hardcore aesthetic of the anime. All the artists here capture the fervid temperaments of the characters with gruesome accuracy. Figures like Tetsuo, Kaneda, and the Espers (who, even though they look like kids with Progeria, are literally terrifying) have been absorbed into various styles of body art.
Some artists — Schwab, Rob Noseworthy, and Oash Rodriquez — capture the look of cell animation, making their portraits appear like frames from the film, while others render them in their own specialities. A few have even created horrifying renditions of the teddy bear from the notorious hospital scene.
Warner Bros.’ live adaptation of Akira has no release date as of yet, but we have a suspicion that it’ll come out in 2019, the same year in which the intense narrative takes place. We might not have the same super-powered, psychotropic drugs by then and Tokyo seems to be doing fine as of press time, but goddamn will it be badass to compare our age to Otomo’s radical vision of the future.