If you’ve been following the planned remake of animated Japanese cult classic, Akira, you know that Menace II Society and The Book of Eli director Albert Hughes was attached for quite some time. Hughes departed the project not too long ago, leaving the door open for someone new to step in and perhaps help highly skeptical fans to get a little excited for the not–so–popular decision to remake such a beloved title.
Warner Brothers has chosen the director to replace Hughes, but he’s not quite as known as one might have assumed he would be. The studio has hired Jaume Collett-Serra to direct the Akira remake, after showing off his knack for producing titles that make money while sticking to the planned budgets. Collett–Serra’s previous titles include the 2005 remake of House of Wax, the 2009 horror, Orphan, and the recent Liam Neeson thriller, Unknown.
This comes as a bit of a surprise, as many expected a name along the same lines as””if not bigger than””the previous director in Hughes (though both have around the same amount of directorial credits to their name). That said, the news seems to make plenty of sense given the problems WB has faced in trying to make Akira a reality.
One of the major speedbumps to remaking Akira has always been the budget. Anyone who has seen the animated film knows and has always known that anyone ballsy enough to try and make a live–action movie from it would need a significant budget to pull it off. Warners know this as well, but is trying to do it as cost–effectively as possible, which is why they’ve reached out to the more affordable director as opposed to bringing in one of the big dogs. The studio has also apparently set a budget of around $90 million for the remake, which seems pretty low when you see most summer blockbusters costing around $150 million or so to make.
Again, Collett–Serra has proven himself as someone who can make things happen with a set budget (Unknown only cost $30 million to make and brought back over $130 million in worldwide box office), and WB is hoping he’ll be able to deliver a live–action Akira people will pay to see within the price range they’ve set. The question is whether it will be faithful enough to lure the faithfuls out to theaters or if the restrictions will lead to this movie’s demise.
There are also the rumors that this was going to be a two–part film, as well. If the plan is to still make two movies at $90 million a pop it would make a lot more sense, but that is all yet to be seen.
Thoughts on the new director and the $90 million budget set by Warner Brothers?