Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe to Empire!
Save up to 63%
Want To Be An Empire Journalist?
We're looking for reporters for the LFF
Movie News

Seth Grahame-Smith Directing Warner Bros.' Flash
He'll also write the film
Alfonso Gomez-Rejon Leaves Collateral Beauty
The Will Smith drama is without a director
First Still From The Journey Released
Timothy Spall as Ian Paisley and Colm Meaney as Martin McGuinness
Bel Powley Joins Wilding
Co-starring in the elevated horror thriller
Ellie Kendrick Cast In The Levelling
Game Of Thrones actress starring in flood drama
Transformers Franchise Planned Up To Part 8
Ten more years in the works
Sam Smith's Spectre Theme Released
UPDATE: Now with promo video
More Movie News

03 October 2015
James McAvoy In Talks For M Night Shyamalan's Latest
He may replace Joaquin Phoenix
More Movie News

Victor Frankenstein (2015)
Empire Star Rating
99 Homes (2015)
Empire Star Rating
Life (2015)
Empire Star Rating
We Are Your Friends (2015)
Empire Star Rating
Good People (2015)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Akira Back To The Drawing Board
Keanu passes; staff let go...

18 May 2011  |  Written by Owen Williams  |  Source: JoBlo

submit to reddit

It's back to Development Hell for one of the most difficult potential projects on Warners' slate. Studio favourite Keanu Reeves was in talks for Akira a couple of weeks ago, but has now officially passed on the Americanised epic, adapted from Katsuhiro Otomo's classic manga. And with that, Warners are pausing for a re-think.

The Hollywood Akira, thought to be relocating to New Manhattan from Neo Tokyo, has been lumbering slowly along for some time now. Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way production company picked it up in early 2008, and after several screenplay drafts, including one by Children of Men writers Hawk Ostby and Mark Fergus, Albert Hughes signed on to direct in 2010. Sporadic casting rumours took in Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, James Franco, Andrew Garfield, James McAvoy, Robert Pattinson and Zac Efron. The most recent run at the script was by Harry Potter's Steve Kloves.

Very early reports gave the colossal project a colossal budget, but we seem now to be talking about somewhere around $140m: the same as Thor and JJ Abrams' Star Trek, and $60m less than Roland Emmerich's 2012. Nervous about rising costs, Warners were apparently talking to Universal about joining forces, with Warners helping out on the seemingly equally beleaguered Dark Tower in exchange. That deal seems now to be off the table, and as of last week, Akira's pre-viz FX department has been closed, and most staff let go.

Warners however, are keen to stress that this is not the end of the road for Tetsuo and Kaneda, or whatever their American counterparts might be called. "Production on Akira has not halted or been shut down," they explained in an official statement, "as the film has not yet been greenlit and is still very much at the development stage. The exploratory process is crucial to a project of this magnitude, and we continue to sculpt our approach to making the best possible film."

Hughes remains attached, and will apparently continue to work with Kloves on cracking a lean and economical screenplay. 

Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

New Green Lantern Posters Online
Hector Hammond and Abin Sur
Todd Field Accepts The Creed Of Violence
Update: He's got the funds to make it

Empire Meets Ridley Scott
The great director on The Martian, Blade Runner 2 and the Prometheus sequels

Jessica Chastain On The Martian
On becoming an astronaut and rescuing Matt Damon AGAIN

My Movie Life: Justin Kurzel
The Macbeth director on how Rocky changed his life and the worst ever date movie

Life On Mars: Trips To The Red Planet
A dozen of cinema's Martian misadventures

Hallowed Ground: Folk Horror In British Film
Ten tales from our island's dark past

All Hail Macbeth! The Scottish Play On Film
By the pricking of our thumbs, ten adaptations this way come(s)

10 Star Wars: The Force Awakens Toys You’ll Want To Own
Falcon quad copter? BB-8 Sphero? We’re already asking for pay raises…

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 63%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)