And so the motorcycle wheel turns again: Clearly looking to see if it can dig what is a high profile project out of the development mire, Warner Bros. is turning the job of bringing its version of Akira to the big screen over to what it likely considers a safe pair of hands: Unknown director Jaume Collet-Serra.
Warners first bought the rights to Katsuhiro Otomo’s original Manga back in 2008 and it has been through a revolving door nightmare of directors (including Ruari Robinson and Albert Hughes), writers (Gary Whitta wrote the first draft and it’s been worked on since by Albert Torres, Iron Man’s Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby and Harry Potter veteran Steve Kloves, who penned the latest draft) and rumoured stars.
No actor has ever really been formally attached, though the likes of Keanu Reeves, Robert Pattinson and even Leonardo DiCaprio, who has been involved as a producer almost from the start, were rumoured.
The big sticking points seem to be both the budget – the studio would like to keep costs down and visions for the movie have been inflating towards the $200 million range – and trying to ward off criticisms about an apparent lack of fidelity to the story’s Asian origins. It doesn’t help that Otomo wrote and directed an iconic anime version in 1988.
Still, the story of biker lad Kaneda and his pal Tetsuo, the giant, dangerous government experiment that makes them enemies and the power that nearly destroys a city just won’t go away. Variety reports that Warners is looking to get the cost down to a much more manageable $90 million and Serra, who also directed horror pic Orphan, is used to working within budgets. It remains to be seen if he’s the man to see this one through the course…