It’s always a little disheartening when a studio won’t take a chance on something like AKIRA, but will dump millions into The Smurfs or Grown Up’s 2. AKIRA is one of those manga stories that Hollywood has toyed around with for awhile, but never had the balls to do it. But Warner Bros. does appear to want to make this happen and they seem pretty sure about the director…so what the fuck are they waiting for? The budget of course, the original Albert Hughes (From Hell, Book of ELI) project ,that was slated for pre-production a few years ago, had a budget of 180 Million, then director Jaume Collet-Sera came aboard and reduced the budget to 90 Million. Stars like Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Helena Bonham Carter, and Ken Watanabe were cast and ready to rock and roll then ERRRRRRRR….Warner Bros. pulled the plug with the hopes of bringing that bad boy down some more. Somewhere between 60 and 70 Million.
Long story short, Jaume left the project.
Flash forward and now Warner Bros believes, for some reason, that this film is doable now.
While Warner Bros. has apparently been looking at other directors to possibly come in and make Akira for the studio’s new, lower budget (including Catfish and Paranormal Activity 4 helmers Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman), Variety reports that the studio was always keen on Collet-Serra’s vision and now the director is in discussions to return to the project. Apparently Collet-Serra has found time in his busy schedule to fit Akira in, and he’s also found another way to approach the material that fits in with WB’s new budget.
Having recently completed filming on the airplane thriller Non-Stop with Liam Neeson, Collet-Serra is currently in pre-production on the Warner Bros. thriller Run All Night, which also stars Neeson alongside Joel Kinnaman and Ed Harris. The plan now is for Collet-Serra to move straight into Akira in the spring of 2014, once he’s completed work on Run All Night. It’s unknown if Collet-Serra’s previous cast will regroup or what the director’s new take on the material entails, but it’s clear that Warner Bros. really wants to get this thing made.
This could always blow up in our faces. I for one, am not about films with inflated budgets and don’t deliver. But AKIRA is not to be messed with. The scope of this film is huge and budget shouldn’t be a concern for a story like this. However “necessity is the mother of invention”.
I don’t have an answer for Hollywood’s sudden shift to manga based materials as of late, but Godzilla 2014, Pacific Rim and 47 Ronin starring Keanu Reeves, may have something to do with it. All I have to say is “Japan, get ready to assume the position, cause Hollywood’s got a something for ya and as always they are going in dry”.
BTW…Just give me the Lone Wolf and Cub movie and let’s call it a wrap.
- Warner Bros. Resurrects AKIRA as Jaume Collet-Sera Returns to Director’s Chair with Reduced Budget (collider.com)
- Live-Action AKIRA Movie Is Back in Action! (geektyrant.com)
- Jaume Collet-Serra Once Again In Talks To Helm AKIRA (comicbookmovie.com)
- Jaume Collet-Serra Returns to Direct ‘Akira’ (EXCLUSIVE) (variety.com)
- Warner Bros. Refuses to Let Akira Adaptation Die, Brings Back Director (geekosystem.com)