By the time Orphan and Unknown director Jaume Collet-Serra was originally hired to helm the live-action adaptation of the legendary manga and anime property “Akira,” the project had already seen so many ups and downs and been forced into so many compromises that we reacted incredulously to the idea that he’d ever actually get the job done. Sure enough, a number of months later it was announced that, due to problems with budget, script, and casting, the entire production was being put on hold. It wasn’t long after this hiccup that Collet-Serra, an in-demand director, dropped off the project completely in order to head for greener pastures, thus rendering Akira delayed indefinitely
Despite all of this, Akira has long proven to be a project that refuses to die, just about as fervently as it refuses to live, so of course there are reports that the whole thing is about to start up production all over again.
According to Variety, now that Collet-Serra has sat behind the camera on another Liam Neeson starring vehicle, Non Stop, he’s found a hole in his schedule where he could potentially get back to work on Akira, so he’s now negotiating with Warner Bros. to do just that.
One of the main concerns the studio had over Akira was that its $90 million budget was seen as too much of a risk for a property that’s only proven to have niche appeal in the States so far, and it tells such a sweeping story that they couldn’t find anyone with an approach that would allow it to be made for, say, $60 million instead.
Well, rumor has it that Collet-Serra’s time away from the material has indeed led to him having an epiphany concerning how he can make this thing for less money, so given the studio’s inability to find anyone else able to do the job, it’s looking like a new deal is about to be done. We here at FSR, of course, remain steadfast in our belief that a live action Akira won’t happen until at least 2025. Time to start placing your bets. Let’s make this thing interesting.