New Director, Reduced Budget For 'Re-envisioned' AKIRA

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New Director, Reduced Budget For 'Re-envisioned' AKIRA
Ruari Robinson walked away. Albert Hughes walked away. But now Jaume Collet-Serra will try to do what neither of them were ultimately willing to: Bring a US adaptation of Akira to the big screen for Warner Brothers. And he's going to have to do it with a significantly reduced budget.

Variety is reporting that Unknown and Orphan director Collet-Sera is stepping into the director's chair on the project, which is being described now as 're-envisioned'. What exactly that means is not clear beyond the fact that Collet-Sera will have much less money to work with. The original adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo's manga and subsequent animated feature was initially planned as a two picture affair with a total budget of $230 million. Now? There is no mention of how many pictures are planned but the total budget cited is only $90 million, which indicates to me that the two film plan is over. Even if WB is planning for $90 million per picture and keeping to the two film plan that would still represent a $50 million reduction in budget, which is no small change.

Here's what I hope the studio means by 're-envisioning' the film. I sincerely hope that they're taking key characters, events and themes and creating a whole new framework for them. Building the world from the ground up, as it were. The initial plan to simply shift the events of the source material from Tokyo to Manhattan while leaving everything as-is was misguided in the extreme and if Akira has any hope of working as an American story then they need to actually make it an American story. Either that or leave it in Tokyo, but that's not going to happen.
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huffy08July 14, 2011 10:06 PM

I agree with you about the necessity of changing elements of the story. Fanboys will cry bloody murder but the original story is too distinctly Japanese to work as a completely faithful adaptation. The original manga reflected a lot of fears and anxieties present in Japanese culture at the time or in the recent past; why shouldn't the American movie draw on similar culture-specific ideas to help shape the narrative, as long as it is done in an intelligent manner?

CuttermaranJuly 15, 2011 4:26 AM

Reduced budget? It's the worst case, stinks like the US Dragonball affair.
No hope for this one.Sorry.

Major_RagerJuly 19, 2011 10:14 AM

Reduced budget? Yeah, good luck Hollywood.