Even though actors have been cast and early work on the film has started, Warner Bros. pulled the plug in Vancouver yesterday and told nearly everyone working on the live action Akira movie to go home.

Since it was announced a couple of years ago, the production has gone through many headaches including finding the right actors, rewriting the story to take play in New York City, budget issues, and fan backlash over the announcements. Though Warner Bros. hasn’t confirmed or denied that the project is dead, it is unclear at this point when production will begin again.

Collet-Serra already had halved the budget from the incarnation that Albert Hughes was going to direct. He now is working on a budget in the $90 million range. But with only Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy) signed on to star, and Kristen Stewart, Ken Watanabe and Helena Bonham Carter in various stages of deal-making, the studio feels that the price tag is still too high for a sci-fi project with that level of star wattage. The goal, says an insider, is to bring the budget down to between $60 million and $70 million. However, another source close to the production says the script, rather than the budget, has skidded the production. The project, this person says, will remain in the $90 million range.

If the budget is the driving force behind the stoppage, then Warner might be best to let this one go, as the special effects in bringing Neo New York to life (and the cast) should push this over the $100 million mark. If it is the story that is causing problems, the writers may want to take a long hard look at the source material and see what worked there.

via Variety

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  1. Coby S
    January 6, 2012 at 11:12 am — Reply

    The title of the article should have been “Live action Akira movie put on hold…again.”
    It seems like this movie will never see the light of day. Whether or not that is a good thing we will never know.

  2. Ricco
    January 6, 2012 at 5:25 pm — Reply

    Is it wrong that my immediate response to this news is “Thank god!”?

    • January 7, 2012 at 4:38 pm — Reply

      Is it wrong that my immediate response to this news is “Thank god!”?

      Well, you’re certainly not alone, but I expect that any sentence that begins with “Am I wrong to…” generally implies that the speaker knows it is… :)

      • Ricco
        January 8, 2012 at 2:30 pm — Reply

        Yeah, the very fist anime movie I ever saw was Akira and as such it has a special place in my heart. Don’t really like it (the manga is far superior) but I don’t wanna see it defaced by Hollywood.

  3. Oldcomicfan
    January 9, 2012 at 8:41 pm — Reply

    Oh, thank God! This was a BAD idea in the first place. There already IS an Akira movie – animated – and it does things that Live Action could NEVER do. And it cost over $100 million to make back in the 80s! So why would anybody think they could redo it live action, thirty years later, for anything less than that? Plus, moving it out of Japan and casting adults to play the roles of teen character? Thank you, no. If I want to watch Akira, I will watch the original.

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The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

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