News from the Variety camp is that director Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) is in talks to return to the director’s chair for the live-action version of Akira, based on the anime-cyberpunk manga of the same name.
Collet-Serra (above) was initially involved when the pic was in pre-production last year, but when Warner Bros. shut it down in order to make some changes to the script and figure out how to cut the budget down from its original $90 million, Collet-Serra left in order to find another project. He ended up reuniting him with Unknown star Liam Neeson for an action thriller called Non-Stop.
While WB DID look at other directors like Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (Catfish, Paranormal Activity 3 and 4), it was Collet-Serra they just couldn’t stop thinking about and in the end, he found time and a new way to meet the budget request and a new approach to Akira that seemed to make everyone happy.
This Americanized (although I have NO idea why) version of Akira will be set in New Manhattan, following the leader of a biker gang who needs to save his friend who, due to government run medical experiments, has psychokinetic abilities that prove potentially dangerous.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran and their production company Appian Way will join Andrew Lazar from Mad Chance to produce and Katsuhiro Otomo (writer/director of the 1988 version of Akira) will sit as executive producer…which makes me breathe a slight sigh of relief for sure.
Whether or not Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy) is still on board to star is still up in the air as the dude has a pretty full dance card.
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