Nevermind sanitizing the strange.
They'd sanitize every last character out of it. Except, maybe, Kaori, Tetsuo's girfriend.
Everybody else in the original Akira movie, and I suspect the comic (I have read some of it, but I only scratched the surface this vast epic) is a morally questionable character of some sort.
Kei is a subversive, practices sabotage and infiltration, is a bit of a terrorist, really, and she's by far the most harmless of what's left. Oh, and she's a cop killer.
You got Kaneda, the leader of a violent gang of urban thugs, all of whom habitual drug users and general miscreants.
You got Tetsuo, who is such a lovely character, he first admires his friend's bike all geeky and stuff, and then murders a guy with a pipe in the first act!
You got Colonel Shikishima ... he's fighting against the bad things happening, after he worked on making a lot of it happen, but that turnaround don't make him good, oh no. Not in the sense of the typical officer-hero-type of Hollywood. More like a grim angel of death. With no conscience beyond rabid nationalism. And an army.
There's deranged scientists who don't give a fuck about the dangers they're exposing the innocent to, or how much their work may torture somebody, there's corrupt politicos, deranged cultists, utlra-violent police, ultra-violent student-protesters, just about everybody is a bloodthirsty maniac.
Except the three other test subjects from the experiment that made Akira, and they aren't exactly magnets for audience sympathy.
Really, Kaori seems to be the only actual character in the whole thing who wouldn't make much of an antagonist.
If you tried to make a movie to be anti-Hollywood, you could do a lot worse than Akira.
About the only way I could see it work for Hollywood (though not for anybody else) would be if they reduced basically all the badevil things all the characters do to mere allusions and background and make it a movie about poor girl Kaori, alone in the big city, trying to work out her relationship with her emotionally distant, incidentally genocidal-demi-god boyfriend. Akira, the romcom. That's about all I can see Hollywood doing with the concept that might still bear any resemblance to the source material.
Anything else ... meet Joe Akira, all American boy, who gets hounded by an evil bike gang and falls in love while trying to stop the badevil scientists trying to take over the military with their telekinetic mutant children.
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?
I said I have a big stick.