Warner Bros. shuts down live-action Akira adaptation
We've been covering the pre-production of the long-in development AKIRA adaptation for a while now, and it really felt like this was the one. Warner Bros greenlit it just a couple of months ago and was in talks with many actors for the leads, including Garret Hedlund (TRON LEGACY) as Kaneda and Kristen Stewart as his girlfriend, and Ken Wanatabe as the Colonel (after Gary Oldman declined the role).
But Heat Vision is reporting today that the casting issues combined with Warner Bros.'s concerns over the film's budget to scare the studio enough to pull the plug. The Vancouver production offices are being closed and "Everybody is being sent home," according to an insider.
The proiducers are going to be sitting down with director Jaume Collet-Serra for two weeks to work on a script- if they can't fix it (ie, make it cheaper), they're going to shelve the film. Apparently the budget was hovering around the $90 million mark and the studio wants it between 60 and 70.
I'm really not certain how you could do this movie cheaply. As anyone who's read the manga or seen the anime knows, it's going to have one helluva effects budget. A previous attempt at the film (with Keanu Reeves starring) had the budget around $140.
If this doesn't start back up it will be the fourth time AKIRA has been killed off.