It would seem the troubled “Akira” remake is getting back on track at Warner Bros. Pictures. Jaume Collet-Serra (“Unknown,” “Non Stop”) is in discussions to return to the director’s chair after departing the project back in early 2012 when the studio shut down pre-production on the project.
The original’s story was set in a neon-lit futuristic post-nuclear war “New Tokyo” in 2019. Kaneda is a bike gang leader whose close friend Tetsuo gets involved in a secret government project known as Akira. Trying to save him, Kaneda runs into anti-government activists, corrupt politicians, irresponsible scientists and a despotic military leader.
The confrontation sparks off Tetsuo’s supernatural power leading to not only death but the uncovering of the truth about Akira that the government tried to bury three decades before. The story was previously adapted into a 1988 anime film which is considered a classic of the genre. This version is expected to stick close to the original manga and could spread the story across several films.
However the film has hit numerous issues as it went through development over the past few years, mostly due to concerns over the sizeable budget a project like this demands. At last report, Warners wanted it around or below a $90 million price tag.
While the studio did consider other filmmakers, they opted to wait as they love Collet-Serra’s vision for the project. The director has also reportedly found both time in his schedule, and a new approach that should fit into the studio’s budget request.
Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Davisson Killoran and Andrew Lazar are still onboard as producers. It’s unknown if the previously attached actor Garrett Hedlund is still onboard.