Thursday, August 29, 2013

Creepy AKIRA Kid Concept Art by Howard Lau

Thursday, August 29, 2013 - by Maurice Mitchell 4


Check out Akira concept art by Howard Lau!

Update: The artist lists the director for this project as Jaume Collet-Serra.

Akira (1988) is a landmark in animated film and they've been trying to make a live-action film out of it for years.

Warner Bros shut down the planned live-action Akira film back in 2012, but Variety is reporting that Jaume Collet-Serra is in talks to begin production again in 2014. I've shared concept art from Akira before, but now I've found some concept art from when Howard Lau was working on the film. Howard Lau helped design the make-up FX pitch for the telepathic Espers.

Lau is a professional concept and makeup artist who's worked on Hollywood films like I, Robot (2004) and network television shows like Primeval: New World (2012) and Once Upon a Time (2011).

Check out the rest of the images after the jump (click to enlarge).


First, here's Howard Lau's description.

"Part one of a two-part live action American adaptation of the 1988 anime film, 'Akira'. Set in Neo-Manhattan,  Kaneda is a bar owner, who is stunned when his brother, Tetsuo, is abducted by government agents led by The Colonel. Desperate to get his brother back, Kaneda agrees to join with Ky Reed and her underground movement who are intent on revealing to the world what truly happened to New York City thirty years ago when it was destroyed. Kaneda believes their theories to be ludicrous but after finding his brother again, is shocked when he displays telekinetic powers.  Ky believes Tetsuo is headed to release a young boy, Akira, who has taken control of Tetsuo's mind. Kaneda clashes with The Colonel's troops on his way to stop Tetsuo from releasing Akira but arrives too late. Akira soon emerges from his prison courtesy of Tetsuo as Kaneda races in to save his brother before Akira once again destroys Manhattan island, as he did thirty years ago.

"Design: 'The Espers' - three 'children' who are test subjects for the secret project. They have the bodies of children but chronologically are in their late 40's. Their bodies and faces have wizened with age but they haven't physically grown. They are former acquaintances of Akira, and survived his destruction of Tokyo. The Espers include:  Kiyoko,  Takashi and  Masaru (shown).

"Masaru is overweight and is physically confined either to a wheelchair or a special floating chair because of developing  polio  at a young age. He has the power to use  psychokinesis  and is considered the 'leader' among the three espers. He is braver than Takashi and is the first to attack Tetsuo when he tries killing Kiyoko. Masaru looks after the well-being of his friends, especially that of Kiyoko who is physically frail. In the anime, his role is the same as the manga, and the floating chair he rides is used as Kiyoko's transport. He also summons Akira to stop Tetsuo, and when Takashi is caught in Akira's explosion trying to save Kaneda, he and Kiyoko help Kaneda out at the cost of themselves."

Here's the way Masaru looked in the anime film:


Now here's the concept art from Lau.






See more of Howard Lau's work on the film at http://www.howardlaudesign.com

Click on the links if you want to see more of Howard Lau's work and Akira on my blog by Tommy Lee Edwards, Rodolfo DaMaggio, Chris Weston, Jeff Enrico and Sylvain Despretz.

What do you think of the concept art? How do you feel about a live-action Akira film? Do you think it will ever get made?

Official Akira Synopsis
Kaneda is a bar owner in Neo-Manhattan who is stunned when his brother, Tetsuo, is abducted by government agents led by The Colonel. Desperate to get his brother back, Kaneda agrees to join with Ky Reed and her underground movement who are intent on revealing to the world what truly happened to New York City thirty years ago when it was destroyed. Kaneda believes their theories to be ludicrous but after finding his brother again, is shocked when he displays telekinetic powers. Ky believes Tetsuo is headed to release a young boy, Akira, who has taken control of Tetsuo’s mind. Kaneda clashes with The Colonel’s troops on his way to stop Tetsuo from releasing Akira but arrives too late. Akira soon emerges from his prison courtesy of Tetsuo as Kaneda races in to save his brother before Akira once again destroys Manhattan island, as he did thirty years ago.

© Copyright Appian Way, Lennox House Films, Mad Chance

About the Author

Maurice Mitchell
Lover of science fiction and art.

4 comments:

  1. Akira is Classic Anime. While I don't mind a live-action movie being made, I wouldn't want to see a Westernized version. Let the actors be of Asian descent. It cheapens the value to have a paradigm shift of culture. Now that I'm off the soapbox, I do like the concept art starting with the child and becoming the Espers.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Quite the creepy and effective look.
    Now I want to go back to watch the original. Incredible masterpiece.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think out of respect for the original film they should cast a mostly Asian cast David.

    ReplyDelete

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