Warner Bros.’ troubled adaptation of the popular manga Akira may yet make it in front of cameras. The studio has been trying to get Akira off the ground for years, and most recently Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) was attached to direct with a cast that included Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Helena Bonham Carter, and Ken Watanabe. Collet-Serra had managed to reduce the budget down to $90 million from Albert Hughes’ $180 million version of the film, but just as production was looming closer, WB hit pause on the project with the aim of bringing the budget down further to somewhere between $60 million and $70 million. Collet-Serra subsequently left the project to focus his efforts on other pursuits, and word on the feature has been practically non-existent for over a year.
However, reports have now surfaced that Warner Bros. is revving Akira up once more, complete with Collet-Serra returning to the director’s chair. Hit the jump for more.
While Warner Bros. has apparently been looking at other directors to possibly come in and make Akira for the studio’s new, lower budget (including Catfish and Paranormal Activity 4 helmers Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman), Variety reports that the studio was always keen on Collet-Serra’s vision and now the director is in discussions to return to the project. Apparently Collet-Serra has found time in his busy schedule to fit Akira in, and he’s also found another way to approach the material that fits in with WB’s new budget.
Having recently completed filming on the airplane thriller Non-Stop with Liam Neeson, Collet-Serra is currently in pre-production on the Warner Bros. thriller Run All Night, which also stars Neeson alongside Joel Kinnaman and Ed Harris. The plan now is for Collet-Serra to move straight into Akira in the spring of 2014, once he’s completed work on Run All Night. It’s unknown if Collet-Serra’s previous cast will regroup or what the director’s new take on the material entails, but it’s clear that Warner Bros. really wants to get this thing made.