The long- and highly-anticipated live action production of the well-known anime feature, Akira (and I mean long – we first reported about it just about 10 years ago), has been shut down by Warner Bros at least for a couple weeks, to see if the producers can shrink the budget even further.
The budget was already cut down to about $90 million when current director Jaume Collet-Serra (House of Wax) took over, where previously it was looking close to $200 million. But it appears the studio doesn’t believe the cast can draw the numbers still. The only actor currently signed on is Garrett Hedlund, who only saw moderate success with Tron: Legacy, while actors Ken Watanabe (Inception), Kristin Stewart (the Twilight saga) and Helena Bonham Carter (the Harry Potter franchise, Dark Shadows) in negotiations, but apparently that is not necessarily the star power they want for the budget. It is believed if they can cut another $20-$30 million, however, it may move forward.
This is popping up all over the place…I’d have reported it sooner if I wasn’t seeing Wayne Brady (Who’s Line Is It Anyway?) live last night. But anyways, Warner Bros. has optioned a live-version of the cult-fave manga comic Akira, about the post-nuclear war Neo-Tokyo and a secret science experiment that results in the greatest threat to the city. Stephen Norrington is assigned to write and direct, but don’t expect it anytime soon – Norrington is busy on The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
Update 4/15: There was a request for where it was said that it was live-action and not another anime. Coming Attractions is one place, citing The Hollywood Reporter.