Just because some casting has already been announced for Warner Brothers’ long in development adaption of the classic anime Akira, don’t allow yourself to think that the project’s troubles are all behind it. Word has come that the studio has shut down the film’s Vancouver production office while it takes a look at the project’s projected costs to determine if its a worthwhile investment.
The Hollywood Reporter is stating that director Jaume Collet-Serra will be spending the next two weeks with producers to see if they can trim the screenplay of an unneeded expense.
This is not the first time that cost has factored into the decision as whether the film would get made or not.When directlr Albert Hughes was developing the project, his version was budgeted out to somewhere in the very expensive neighborhood of $180 million. Collet-Serra’s planned take on the story seems positively bargain-basement in comparison at a reported $90 million. But with TRON: Legacy‘s Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart set to star, the studio is reportedly unsure if they have the star power to sufficiently at the box office to make the film profitable and may be looking to trim the film’s budget by nearly another third down to somewhere between $60 and $70 million. The Reporter‘s story also quotes a conflicting source who states that the budget will be untouched but the script is need of some last minute revisions.
This isn’t the first high profile film project that has been temporarily shut down for some review and adjustments before going into production. Last fall saw the fortunes of Walt Disney’s The Lone Ranger hang in question while the studio and director Gore Verbanski hash out some budget cuts. Similarly, Warners is also looking at their in development Arthurian legend rehash Arthur & Lancelot with an eye towards trimming costs.