It appears that Akira has risen from the depths of development hell, and is back on its way to getting filmed now that previous director Jaume Collet-Serra (director of Orphan and Unknown) has signed on to return as director of the adaptation based on the hit anime movie. This comes a little over a year after Warner Bros. put the film on the shelf because of budgetary constraints. Collet-Serra reportedly requested a budget that far exceeded the WB $60 to $70 million asking price.
Variety reports that the studio was in talks with Catfish helmers Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman to shoot the film, but that they were still keen on Collet-Serra’s vision. Luckily for the studio, the director has found time in his schedule to shoot the film, and has found a new way to approach the adaptation that would meet WB’s budget demands.
Set in a dystopian futuristic Tokyo, biker gang leader Shotaro Kaneda must prevent his friend Tetsuo Shima from releasing Akira, a prisoner of the military government, who possesses psychokinetic abilities.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran are producing through their Appian Way production house, with Mad Chance’s Andrew Lazar. Executive producing will be Katsuhiro Otomo, who wrote and directed the 1988 Japanese anime pic of the same name.
Garrett Hedlund was tapped to star as the lead, with Kristen Stewart rumored to be in talks to play as Kei. No word yet on if either of their schedules are clear to have them appear on set.
So what are your thoughts? Is WB reviving Akira a good thing or something that was inevitable?