The Akira Remake Is On Hold
by Jamie Frevele | 4:20 pm, January 5th, 2012
We’ve been bringing you very interesting movie news all day today, and the afternoon hours have not disappointed us. Why? Because production on the much-maligned whitewashed remake of Akira has been put on hold. While the higher-ups reconsider the budget (and try to cut $20 million out of it), production offices in Vancouver are sending their employees home and being told to “stop working.” Is it the end? Maybe not. But is the universe trying to send some sort of signal to Warner Bros.? We’d like to think so.
Apparently, trying to wrangle the proper star power to convince people to see an “Americanized” remake of a distinctly Japanese movie (which was based on a manga) is costing way too much money. When it was first going to be directed by Albert Hughes, the budget was well into the hundreds of millions. Hughes eventually left the project, and Jaume Collet-Serra took over, ready to use a script that was rewritten by Steve Kloves (who wrote the screenplays for most of the Harry Potter movies), and work with a reduced $90 million budget.
But that’s still more than WB is willing to spend, and Collet-Serra will now work with his producers, Jennifer Kiloran Davisson (Appian Way) and Andrew Lazar (Mad Chance), to rework the story into a $60 or $70 million budget. And, if they can’t do that, “the project could end up being shelved entirely,” according to those “in the know.”
Wow. Okay. We’re going to try to be sad about this. We’re going to try really, really hard to be sad about the possibility of a non-Akira Akira remake starring Garrett Hedlund and possibly Kristen Stewart, Helena Bonham Carter, and Ken Watanabe (the only Japanese person offered a role in this so far, and only after the role in question — Colonel Shikishima — was turned down by not-exactly-Japanese actor Gary Oldman), that takes place in “Neo-Manhattan.”
Anyway, this is what’s happening right now: the production offices are shutting down and everyone is being sent home. And if the production team can’t chop at least $20 million off the budget, there might not be an Akira remake. But some don’t think it will come to this:
“It’s a very resilient movie,” says one insider. “Warner Bros. just won’t let it die.”
Ladies and gentlemen — Akira might be Hollywood’s most popular cockroach.