Akira has stopped development, but the project is not completely dead yet.
According to Variety, Warner Bros. has stopped pre-production on the live action adaptation of Akira. It was confirmed on Thursday that the Vancouver offices for the project were shut down while the story is being reworked.
It’s important to note that this does not mean the project is dead, large projects like this can take many years to develop. For example, WB’s other major project this year, the two Hobbit films, took nearly ten years to get into production.
Earlier it was thought that the studio wanted to cut the budget again, but now Variety says that the higher ups want fixes on the script that has already seen rewrites from Steve Kloves and David James Kelly.
Right now the only actor officially signed on to the project is Garret Hedlund. The creative team is currently looking at either Michael Pitt or Dane DeHann. The final decision is now delayed just a little bit longer. Kristen Stewart, Helena Bonham Carter and Ken Watanabe are all working out deals to be in the film.
Akira has gone through quite a bit of turmoil since its acquisition in 2008. Directors have signed on, only to drop out months later, and creatives were forced to cut the budget from $150 million down to $90 million.
Warner’s other big projects coming up include the Hobbit films, The Dark Knight Rises and Man of Steel. The studio is looking at writer Jonah Nolan, from Dark Knight, to work on the script, though nothing official has been offered.