It’s been a rough road for Warner Bros.’ live-action adaptation of Akira, but the project seemed to be moving steadily forward after receiving the green light from the studio last October. Today, however, The Hollywood Reporter has word that pre-production has been halted so that the film’s budget can be reworked, bringing the current $90 million pricetag down by at least $20 million if the project is to move forward.
Famously adapted as an anime in 1988, Akira is based on the original manga by Katsuhiro Otomo, depicting a sci-fi cyberpunk dystopia. The new version is said to relocate the action to “New Manhattan” rather than “Neo-Tokyo.”
To be directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, the live-action adaptation features a script from Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Gary Whitta and Steve Kloves. Though Garrett Hedlund is the only attached actor, Helena Bonham Carter, Kristen Stewart and Ken Wattanabe are all said to be up for parts as well.
Collet-Serra will work with the producers to try and drive down costs as the script is finalized over the next two weeks, but if that doesn’t happen to the studio’s satisfaction, the project could be off the table entirely.