Director Jaume Collet-Serra Hopes AKIRA Will Be His Next Project

     February 9, 2014


After spending years trying to get a live-action adaptation of Akira off the ground, it seemed as though Jaume Collet-Serra was going to be the man to do it – that is until plans imploded due to budget issues.  However, two years after Warner Bros. insisted on re-working the script to bring down the $90 million tab, news broke that the project was back on track.  In August, word got out that Collet-Serra was in discussions to re-board the production and apparently those discussions went quite well because Collet-Serra himself confirmed he’s actively working on the project.  Hit the jump for more.

jaume-collett-serra-akiraWhile talking to the director about his latest film, Non-Stop, Collet-Serra made a point to note:

“I’m focusing on Akira though.”

In fact, Akira might even be his next endeavor because he also added:

“So hopefully that’s the next one.”

The main issue for Warner Bros. has been that big budget. The Albert Hughes version of the adaptation apparently would have cost them $180 million and even though Collet-Serra’s only called for $90 million, it still wasn’t low enough. The studio wanted the film to fall within the $60 million to $70 million range. Collet-Serra didn’t confirm if he hit an appropriate number and whether that’s why Warner Bros. is giving him the go-ahead, but he still noted:

“I’ve done two movies since I put this little pause on that project … but now powers that be are interested.”

akira_movie_imageWhen asked if there was a specific component of the production that he deemed worthy of higher costs, Collet-Serra explained that it comes down to the big picture more than anything.

“No, it’s an overall conceptual thing. You know, it’s how big the movie should be, you know, for the complexity of the concept.”

You can catch Collet-Serra discussing his plans for Akira in the clip below and be sure to keep an eye out for our full chat with the director as we near the February 28th release of Non-Stop.

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  • varagor

    To be honest, I don’t trust this guy to make a good Akira movie. His movies so far are okay at best, and It’s going to take much more talent to properly adapt Akira than to make a second rate Hitchcock style thriller with Liam Neeson.

    • Zack Snyder

      Unfortunately maybe that is exactly what WB wants… a second rate sci-fi action thriller.

    • axalon

      You know what? Let him do it. Seriously. Let him make a crappy adaptation that tanks at the box office so they won’t touch this property again.

      As Tey said above, you cannot skimp on the budget for an Akira movie. In fact, there shouldn’t even be a live-action Akira in the first place.

      Also, making it “Neo-Manhattan” with a white-washed cast is such a slap in the face to the source material.

    • Martha John

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      ▊▊▊ ▊▊▊ㆵ ▊▊▊︧ ▊▊▊ ▊▊▊If they are following the manga version with only a 90 million budget, they have to hire Asian kids in sweatshops to animate the CGI.

    • The Flobbit

      I would really like a stronger director: Rian Johnson, Jeremy Lin, or heck, John Woo!

    • Orbister

      maybe his previous works are ok because he didnt feel motivated for anything besides the money, but it seems like he WANTS to make this adaptation, i take that as a good sign and ill keep the optimism up, at least it’s not this guy (he directed that chun li abomination) or this one (tekken abomination) or michael bay or uwe boll.

  • Zack Snyder

    You simply cannot make Akira for 90 million dollars.

    • Strong Enough

      There is nothing expense at least until the second-third part when Tetsuo goes ballistic looking for Akira. But then again i don’t know if they are following the movie version or manga

      • axalon

        Uh, yeah there is. If you look at the concept art they’re adapting it from the manga directly as opposed to the anime. There are tons of crazy scenes in the beginning.

      • Strong Enough

        Not really. no crazy action Until you hit Book 3. I’ve read them all.

      • axalon

        Oh you read them all? Wow.

        It doesn’t need to be crazy action, even riding those motorcycles is going to be CG. The entire environment will have to be CG except for the interiors.

        If most of it is CG how the hell are they going to make it look even decent at $90 million? Thor: The Dark World was almost all CG and it cost $170 million.

      • Strong Enough

        The environment doesn’t need to be CG. nor does riding on the bike. Neo Tokyo or in this case Neo Manhattan can be replicated with great production design on top of regular Manhattan. IN the manga it looks like a regular city. The bike will have to be built but it isn’t any different than another sci fi movie. Like Dredd in the beginning with his bike. Like i said the story doesn’t go ballistic until those drone things start to hunt for tetsuo and things go to hell in the city. and thats book 3.

      • Zack Snyder

        If they are following the manga version with only a 90 million budget, they have to hire Asian kids in sweatshops to animate the CGI. Life it seems, is not without a sense of irony.

      • MrX

        This actually made me burst up with a laugh. I dig ur profile pic by the way.

      • Strong Enough

        If they split it into 3 movies from the manga the first movie can be 90 million while growing the budget every other one.

    • The Flobbit

      You would be surprised how much a quality filmmaker with a thought-out script, a small but capable crew, and talented but not A-list actors could do.

  • Eizzy IceBorne

    And I thought Collet-Serra is a pretty smart director. But it seems he has absolutely no clue, that nobody on this whole wide world wants to see a fucked up Live-Action of the genius Anime.

  • huggy

    Akira for 90 Mio.??? WTF, the budget should be in the range of Avatar or Star Wars at least…

    • bidi

      if James Cameron was directing, then yeah they would probably give him Avatar money to make this. but it’s this dude. who’s made a couple of decent movies with Liam Neeson

  • Old Soldier

    just no.

  • Django9000

    Divide it into four films, and maybe you could get away with the first book for 90 million. Then switch directors and – wait, wait, wait. This is like a losing game of chess. No matter which way you do it – the solution is simple. DON’T.

  • mixedkidmonkey

    hopin dat jayden smith play akera!!! kid can act!!!

    • jack

      so you changed your name to something racist and now you’re pretending like you’re too uneducated to form a sentence? You sir, need help

      • The Flobbit

        Actually he is parodying Mixed Race rich kid NYC and exaggerating that man’s terrible grammar for comedic effect. I think…

  • Yurine

    I’m not familiar with Jaume’s work, but i’m skeptical of them making anything around Akira since the last time it was in talks, it blew up in their faces.

  • Aaron Fritsch

    Why would anyone hope for a carrier killing atrocity? They still don’t realize nobody wants this movie to be made?

    • Rick Dane

      Kind of peverse joy to be had in me wanting to see it made, just to say I live in a time when they did make a live action version of Akira. And to see if they actually have the characters shouting each other’s names at each other.

  • The Truth

    Nobody wants live-action anime classics. Nobody.

    • Rick Dane

      So we don’t want characters shouting their names.

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  • Max Rockatansky

    LOL $60-70 mil. Go fuck yourself WB you cheap little shit and stay the fuck away from this. If you want spend $70Mil go remake Chronicle and don’t call it Akira. I’m in no hurry to see your cheap version of Akira. WB the same cheap ass company that said they didn’t make any income from LOTR trilogy.

    • spaceMONkeyx01

      Akira in no way can be made under 150 mil for sure.

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  • DjangoBro

    No, no, nooooo. They need to leave Akira the fuck alone! 90 mil?! Not low enough?! They can’t even make this masterpiece with 90 mil either let alone lower?! What the fuck is WB thinking?! If WB is not willing to go all out on the budget for this movie, then leave it alone. For the love of God. I’m so mad cause I love Akira and this doesn’t cut it.

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