The hot thing in Hollywood at the moment is to shut down production on a big name potential franchise to get the budget scaled back. It happened to Lone Ranger, it happened to The Dark Tower, and now its happened to the stateside live-action remake of the popular anime Akira; a movie that genre fans don't seem too keen on anyway.

Warner Bros. has halted pre-production on Akira, shutting down the Vancouver offices. The plan is to rework the existing script to get the $90 million budget scaled down to a more respectable number. Though the film has gone through an extensive series of rewrites, its believed that a new writer will be brought on to completely overhaul this overblown spectacle of a screeplay.

Akira is not a dead project. Warner Bros. is insistent that Akira become a live action film, no matter how badly fans of the original don't want it. Part of the disinterest comes from the all-Caucasian casting of what is a Japanese-set story. Garrett Hedlund has been cast in the lead as Kaneda, with the studio eyeing both Michael Pitt and Dane DeHaan to play his best friend Tetsuo. A decision on this secondary lead was to be made after the holidays, but the casting process has also been placed on indefinite hold.

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Akira has been in development at Warner Bros. since 2008. Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) is still set to direct this adaptation. While the movie will move forward at some point in the near future, there is no telling when the pre-production offices will re-open for business. Let us know if you care, or don't care, in the comment section below.

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange