Live Action Akira on the Verge of Being Shut Down… Again

Sometimes it seems that certain movies just weren’t meant to be, and at this point surely there are a few people over at Warner Brothers asking themselves if the live action Akira remake has become more hassle than it’s worth. Over the past decade the movie has been through three different directors and has undergone numerous budget cuts, but apparently it’s still not good enough for the top brass at the WB. According to Heat Vision, the film’s production offices in Vancouver are being closed down and crew members have been sent home while the budget is re-evaluated one more time. If they are unable to slice another $20 to $30 million out of the pie, the movie could end up being shelved for good. Something tells me that might be the best move at this point.

Based on the seminal anime film and manga by Katsuhiro Otomo, the movie takes place in a post-apocalyptic neo-Manhattan where a teenager named Tetsuo has developed psychic powers and attempts to connect with the mind of a young boy named Akira who destroyed the city some thirty years ago. His best friend Kaneda, the leader of a motorcycle gang, must try to stop him before the military can find him and kill him. Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) is currently attached to direct.

Last we heard, Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy) had landed the lead role, while Kristen Stewart, Ken Watanabe and Helena Bonham Carter were all in talks for supporting roles. Now it’s unclear what will happen as the budget is set at $90 million and Warner Brothers is hoping to get it down to $60 or $70 mil. For a science-fiction movie with a heavy emphasis on special effects, that will likely be a difficult task. What do you think, will this Akira remake ever see the light of day? And more importantly, does anyone even care?

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  • Colin

    Good and even great sci-Fi has been done on the cheap… Just look at what Danny Boyle accomplished with Sunshine on a budget of 40 million. Unfortunately, with this movie it seems like it is being cast not for a solid sci-fi audience, but for the summer blockbuster crowd.

  • http://www.seandwyer.net Sean

    Good sci-fi can definitely be done without a big budget but usually it has to be conceived in a way that it takes advantage of the limitations. In this case, I think unless they significantly alter the story from the original film, they will need a ton of cutting edge effects work.

  • Chris

    Best news all week. Shut it down!

  • Steve

    I’m still baffled that they changed the setting to Manhattan, but kept all Japanese names.

  • http://www.seandwyer.net Sean

    Yeah that is pretty weird. I guess they can’t change the names since the movie is actually called Akira?

  • patrik

    Can´t say I was dying to see Garrett Hedlund in that lead role but I was kind of intrigued by Kristen Stewarts involvement. Would have been interesting to see her in something like this..

  • wayno

    Why bother. Shut it down.

  • Mark

    Fuck krist stewart and fuck this movie. Go read the comic.

  • Arcturus

    Anyone involved with making this abomination deserves to rot in Hell. White people with Japanese names? Go watch the fucking original in Japanese with English subtitles.

  • DukeTogo

    I think a CGI remake would work best. Appleseed was originally cel animated then transitioned to a modern CGI interpretation.

    I haven’t heard much about the live action Bubblegum Crisis film, the budget is about $30 million.

  • Steve

    @Arcturus Wait, what’s wrong with watching the dubbed version?

  • mark

    hot damn. thank fuck.

  • bob

    yes i do care. i cant decide if it can be done or not i say go for it

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