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WB's 'Akira' Movie is Back From the Dead with Jaume Collet-Serra

by
August 1, 2013
Source: Variety

Akira

It's back! But is that good thing? We've been following development on Warner Bros' live-action adaptation of the manga/anime Akira for what seems like all seven years this website has been in operation (our first post ever on an Akira "remake" was in in late 2007). Throughout 2011, we covered news on a version that came close to shooting with director Jaume Collet-Serra at the helm, and Garrett Hedlund about to star. But production shut down in early 2012 and we thought this was all but dead - at least until they wanted to take another shot at it. So here we are again, and WB wants Collet-Serra back with an even smaller budget.

The updated report comes from Variety, where they claim that Warner Bros is back at it and has decided to bring Jaume Collet-Serra back "in discussions" to direct. At the time, he had just released Unknown and decided to move on to another project instead of waiting. So Collet-Serra went and filmed Non-Stop starring Liam Neeson, and even lined up another film, Run All Night with Neeson again, to follow-up that one. They now say that Collet-Serra is set to start shooting Run All Night this fall and will likely be convinced to shoot the Akira movie in early 2014, after returning with "a new way to approach the adaptation that would meet the studio’s budget request." The budget started over $100 million, then was pushed to $90M during the 2011 development phase, and will get even lower though "it is unknown what the new budget [will] be."

When Akira was originally set to be adapted by DiCaprio's company Appian Way, WB had only secured the rights for a limited amount of time. Hence all the buzz about the adaptation over these last few years and the fact that it's starting up again. Variety says after Collet-Serra left in 2012, WB pursued other directors like Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman of Catfish, but "ultimately, the studio was still in love with Collet-Serra's vision." Now they want him back and want to get this going, with another revision on the budget. Appian Way's Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran are still producing along with Andrew Lazar, plus Katsuhiro Otomo, who wrote/directed the iconic 1988 anime film, is still involved as an executive producer.

Aside from that update, we'll have to keep waiting to see if they finally pull this project together this time. Adapting Akira is (or at least should be) an ambitious undertaking, which is why all of this debate and news about shrinking budgets is more of a cause for concern than any excitement. As always, we'll keep an eye out for the latest updates on this movie. Until then, there's still plenty of time to watch the original Akira anime.

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  • Xerxexx
    Do it justice...however unlikely. It has potential...just needs a dedicated crew and cast.
  • DavideCoppola
    Stylish director, good choice for a film like this.
  • Tey
    I don't have much confidence on this director... They should have gotten Ang Lee or Zhang Yi Mou
    • mooreworthy
      Appropriate avatar
      • Tey
        I didn't even realize
  • AnotherDan
    Yep, throwing money at a movie is a sure fire way to making a successful movie...
  • josh
    They're just gona ruin it!
  • nate
    Honestly, I would love to see an attempt at a live action Akira movie. If they get it right, it'll be one awesome movie. If they don't, well we still have the original. Only thing i'm worried about is they need to find someone who's passionate about making this movie. Not just some director ready to make a paycheck. Also, the budget for the movie needs to be at least in the $100+ mil.
  • me
    i really want to see the trailer for non-stop
  • Me again
    Give it to the Wachowski sisters
  • Chris Groves
    I just saw the anime for the first time this year, and it was great, I'd love to see a big budget, live action attempt.
    • mooreworthy
      Read the graphic novels now to see how massive the story line really is. It is a great read.
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7YGEVuJ4mM Carpola
    I think the anime and the manga of Akira were pretty influential on most artists I know, probably in the same way Moebius was. To see some kind of version of it would be interesting, but I still think it would be hard to capture the scale of it, the look would be great, the characters are super stylish already, plus the city would be bonus too. Might still be a little weird for mainstream western audiences though.
    • mooreworthy
      Exactly, looked how Americans accepted Pacific Rim.
      • OfficialJab
        Well I think Grown Ups and Despicable Me stole a lot of its thunder.
        • mooreworthy
          I guess most families like safe and familiar.
  • Zen
    Well, I'm not watching it. Another whitewashing movie.
    • mooreworthy
      whaaaaa? You don't want another Last Airbender?
      • Zen
        haha...good one.
  • OfficialJab
    Looking forward to it. I think it would take an absolute catastrophe to make me dislike it.
  • Raiden
    If they are going to alter it beyond recognition, this the least they could do is not call it Akira. Like the Live Action American Evangelion. . . I mean "Pacific Rim".

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