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.
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.