"Wrath of the Titans" co-star Toby Kebbell speaks very candidly with IFC about the on again/off again live-action "Akira" remake at Warner Bros. in which he was linked to play Tetsuo late last year.
The new film would have shifted the action from Neo-Tokyo to New Manhattan but still followed Kaneda's (Garrett Hedlund) attempts to save Tetsuo from a medical experiment that threatens to unleash destructive powers.
“Yes, that was genuine… 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?’”
He continues, “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.”
It seems that the changes that were being made to the story gave Kebbell pause- “I was desperate to play Tetsuo, but Tetsuo in the comic and annual form… 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 f**k are you doing?’”
He concludes “I was desperate to do it, but I just hoped they were going to take the six annuals and adapt them. Having said that, they’ll probably read this and go, ‘We’re never working with him again.’ But I wish they would. Sometimes it’s a shame that money rules, because there are great stories to be told out there."
There's been no word on yet another resurrection for the project since its last "death" in January over budget issues...