Nearly two years ago, it looked as if Warner Brothers finally was moving ahead with producing a live action version of the classic anime Akira after years of development and false starts. Director Jaume Collet-Sera had managed to cut the proposed budget in half, from the $180 million amount director Albert Hughes stated he needed to bring the story to life to $90 million. And although through the fall he was already starting to assemble a cast, the studio still had cold feet and pulled the plug in early 2012 when Collet-Sera couldn’t get the budget down into the $60-$70 million range.
But it seems that even though they looked around for another director to take over the project, the studio never really lost their enthusiasm for what Collet-Sera wanted to do with the film and now Variety is reporting that the director is in talks with the studio to return to the project. The trade does note that there is no information as to whether Collet-Sera was able to trim the budget any further on the film or if the studio decided that the $90 million budget was doable.
Currently, Collett-Sera is prepping to reunite with his Unknown star Liam Neeson for the thriller Run All Night, which also stars Joel Kinnaman and Ed Harris, to shoot later this year for Warner Brothers before moving onto Akira next spring.
At the time the plug was pulled, Collet-Sera had attached Garrett Hedland to star and approached Kristen Stewart, Helena Bonham Carter, and Ken Watanabe for major roles. It is unknown if they will still be participating when production gears up next year.