The live-action American remake of Akira continues its on-again, off-again ill-advised trek to the big screen. As of now, Warner Bros. has greenlit the film. Budgeted at $90 million, production is set to begin in February or March of 2012. Jaume Collet-Serra, whose previous credits include Orphan and Unknown, is attached to direct. Garrett Hedlund of Tron: Legacy is currently a frontrunner for one of the leads.
It’s unclear if Collet-Serra’s Akira will use any of the groundwork laid by Albert Hughes of the Hughes brothers, who was originally attached to direct a two-part adaptation based on the six-volume manga by Katsuhiro Otomo. Hughes left the project back in May of this year.
If the history of this remake is any indication, the first reports of production delays or setbacks should pop up in about two months, so stay tuned.[Via Collider]
Set in Neo Manhattan rather than Neo Tokyo, the remake of Akira has gone through a number of changes during development. Way back in 2009, Leonardo DiCaprio and Joseph Gordon Levitt were rumored to star. (DiCaprio is still co-producing the film.) Almost a year ago, there was speculation about Zac Efron and Morgan Freeman getting roles. Additional casting info from earlier this year had James Franco rumored for a part as well as a thumbs down on roles from both Brad Pitt and Mila Kunis. Justin Timberlake, Keanu Reeves, Joaquin Phoenix, and Chris Pine were also in talks at various points.
I was also tapped for a lead thanks to my performance as a juror in a high school production of Inherit the Wind, but I had other obligations to fulfill.