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Troubled Akira Isn’t Dead Yet

While the closing of the Vancouver production office clearly doesn’t bode well for Akira, the live-action adaptation still shows signs of life as Warner Bros. reportedly searches for a high-end writer to polish a script that’s already passed through more than a half-dozen sets of hands.

According to Variety, executives are eyeing Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises) and Michael Green (Green Lantern) to take a pass, focusing specifically on the character elements and the film’s look. And it’s David James Kelly’s most recent draft, more so than the $90 million budget — already slashed from the $140 million to $150 million range — that troubles the increasingly money-conscious Warner Bros., Deadline contends.

Once the screenplay is fixed, the studio will decide how, or if, to move forward with a pricey movie that still only has Tron: Legacy star Garrett Hedlund locked into a role. Kristen Stewart, Ken Wattanabe and Helena Bonham Carter are still in negotiations to join the cast.

That, of course, brings up another apparent problem: Deadline reports the test option deals with Michael Pitt (Boardwalk Empire) and Dane DeHaan (Chronicle) lapsed Thursday, leaving Akira still without an actor to play the pivotal role of Tetsuo.

Based on Katsuhiro Otomo’s pioneering cyberpunk manga and anime, Akira has struck numerous roadblocks since Warner Bros. acquired the rights in 2008, losing directors Ruairi Robinson and Albert Hughes before Jaume Collet-Serra signed on in July.

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Comments

  • Anonymous

    They really should just pass on this film. If they’re not even going to give it a respectable budget so it can at least look nice, just pass.

  • Demoncat4

    given all the trouble and the reaction being negative from the key fan base of the source material Warners should just cut their losses and let the thing die for good.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=602070079 David Keith

    Throw a ton of money at it. That will fix all the problems. It’s guaranteed to make bank.

  • Lewis4510

    That’s what they probably said about Green Lantern too.

  • Jack Baur

    Just die!  Please!  Die die die!

  • David Fullam

    No, no, no! Kill it, kill it now!

  • http://twitter.com/suicidalpixel Tibor

    Come on be dead already! No one wants to watch this unavoidable disaster anyway, especially not fans of original material.

  • SerpentsLair

    Akira must not be tarnished by production problems and cast dilemmas. If they do go ahead I just hope it is done decently. It would be an utter shame to ruin something that has become pivotal in artistic and cinematic history. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Simonsen-Jr/726620357 Richard Simonsen Jr.

    If you are going to do with half ass budget why bother doing it anyway?  It’s bad enough script problems but when you hamper the production by cutting budget in half.

  • Asian638superman

    Here’s a great idea… retool the script and (gasp) cast asian actors to star in the movie and sell the movie on a interesting story and good visuals and concep.

  • Y2karl26

    Loved the original when I was a kid, stil do. I’ll give almost any remake a chance but they need to let this one go, theres no hope for it. The only way the situation could be worse for this movie is if they Americanized it and added any actor from Twilight. Wait, what?!

  • Adam Walker

    Dear Warner Bros.
    Please, please do a movie, let’s say “Josephine Potter: A Cave of New Found Witches,” to cash in on the cinema going masses and leave “Akira” alone. You’ll never get it right, and for all you care, money will be paid for the entree whether the movie is called “Josephine” or “Akira.”
    The second one just upsets fans of the beloved graphic novel series or animée.

    Thank you.

  • Mr_Wayne

    Michael Green (Green Lantern)? No. If Warners does stick with this film then they should give it to a writer that’s going to respect the original film.

  • Guest

    This will get put in turnaround soon. It has to—I’ve got five bucks riding on it.

    That, and The Stand not happening.