The proposed live action Akira being developed over at Warner Bros. is slowly and steadily becoming the most talked-about film project of all time. The ups and downs of bringing this beloved story to the big screen have been well documented, but the most recent news made it look like this project might finally be ending its wild ride. Reports came in last week that all work on the film had been halted, the entire thing was being rethought, and maybe it could get scrapped indefinitely. But that was last week.
This week, Variety is reporting that a new strategy for resuscitating director Jaume Collet-Serra’s project is being hatched. It sure didn’t take long to get the roller coaster going again.
Last week’s reports said that the main reason for Akira being halted was that it needed to, yet again, go through some budget cuts. But according to a source that talked to Variety, that’s not exactly the case. While trimming some more fat from the budget is certainly something that Collet-Serra and his producers are looking at, mainly the reason the film is being re-tooled is just that there are still problems with the script they’re working with. Reportedly there are still questions about some character elements and the film’s look. And that’s after this thing has already received rewrites from the likes of Steve Kloves and David James Kelly.
The two names Collet-Serra and company are looking at to come on and once again give this one a going over are Jonathan Nolan or Michael Green. Nolan, as you probably know, is the brother of director Christopher Nolan and has co-written several of his brother’s projects, including The Dark Knight. Michael Green you might not know, but he was a co-writer on last year’s abysmal Green Lantern.
I don’t think there’s much question as to who I believe would be a better choice for pulling this project back from the brink, but I have to say, I still think that this is one that Warner Bros. needs to let go. Why divert this many of your resources toward reviving a property that mainstream audiences haven’t heard of and niche audiences are going to crucify you for touching? Especially when it’s a project that will need so many expensive visual effects to be appropriately adapted. Whether it’s Nolan, or Green, or somebody else, I still think that Akira has box office bomb written all over it.