Show business industry magazine Variety has confirmed that Warner Brothers has halted pre-production of its live action remake of classic sci-fi anime Akira, with a report on why the studio has taken a step back on the Jaume Collet-Serra helmed project.
As reported earlier, the project's Vancouver offices have been shut down while the creative team rework the story with the aim of bringing the once $130 million-$150 million range budget below its current $90 million target.
(Above: Kaneda contemplates the incredible shriking budget of the Akira movie)
So what factors made Warner's change their mind?
With The Dark Knight Rises and the Hobbit scheduled, Warner Bros. is confident about their 2012 line-up. Time Warner chief financial officer John Martin has said that they felt "as good as you can at the start of the year about any film slate." Still, like the rest of the industry, the studio, the studio is scrutinizing blockbuster budgets in light of declining theater attendance and downward DVD revenue.
Tron: Legacy's Garrett Hedlund remained locked into the lead role, with the studio intending to go forward. Studio president Jeff Robinov met with the Akira team to discuss several issues, the film's second lead. Choices had been narrowed down to Michael Pitt and Dane DeHaan, but the studio wanted to wait until after the holidays to decide. Now that decision will be delayed further.
As for the next step, insiders told Variety that a new writer will probably be brought on over the next two weeks to focus on character elements and particularly on the movie's look. Jonah Nolan (The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises) and Michael Green (Green Lantern) have been mentioned as likely contenders.
Variety names Superman revamp Man of Steel are part of Warner Bros' still ambitious slate of nearly three dozen producing deals, but didn't mention the adaptation of Hiroshi Sakurazaka's All You Need is Kill, which was recently locking in cast commitments.
In short, a long-troubled production continues to be plauged with numerous problems. Will we ever see the finished film playing at the local multiplex? DO YOU EVEN WANT IT IN THE FIRST PLACE?