A few days ago we declared the bastardized Akira remake to be thankfully dead. It turns out our pronouncement was a bit premature (that’s never happened before, baby. I swear). To recap, the Hughes Brothers were originally attached to adapt books one through six in two movies with a total budget rumored to be $230 million. Things were looking good until rumors started circulating Warner Brothers was going to cast Zac Efron or a bunch of other white guys as the teenaged, Japanese gang members. Then the Hughes Brothers left the project. Then we heard Keanu Reeves was in talks to play Kaneda but smartly walked away, perhaps after looking at a calender and realizing it’s been nearly two decades since he was a teenager. (Allegedly, upon looking at the calender he said, “Whoa.“)
We thought this adaptation was finally dead, but ThePlaylist reports Warner offered The Polish Brothers the chance to direct (and they turned it down), and then Warner offered it to Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan, Unknown), who is now in talks. They also report the “$230 million for two films” plan has been scaled back to $90 million for just the first film for now. They are still planning to use the well-received script by Steve Kloves, who wrote most of the Harry Potter scripts and The Amazing Spider-Man. Previous scriptwriters Warner had on this project included Albert Torres (Henry Poole Is Here), Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli), Mark Fergus (Iron Man, Cowboys & Aliens), and Hawk Ostby (Children of Men).
All I can say is, if they aren’t going to let this thing die and Collet-Serra is going to direct it, then at least cast some Asian guys and don’t let Tetsuo end up being a secret dwarf hooker . . .
[Banner picture via ThePlaylist]