January 5, 2012

Akira In Trouble, Script Issues And Budget Cuts

HeatVision reports that Warner Bros. is putting another project on ice until a new budget is worked out. Previously Aurthur And Lancelot had been on hold until a new budget was agreed upon. Akira is undergoing the same budget review. The project already had it's original budget (when director Albert Huges was attached) cut in half to a rather slim $90 million. Most tentpole comedies have a budget similar to that number. They report the studio wants that number trimmed to $60-70 I'm sure that is to cover marketing and advertising costs. Variety has it on good authority that the project-freeze is also because of Steve Kloves' (Harry Potter franchise) script which needs reworking and more development.

I can see where the studio is coming from Garrett Hundland is the only locked in actor and it's deviation from the source material has become volatile to the fanbase. I'm unsure Akira can be a success without support from fans of the manga/anime who are talking of boycotting the movie. Cutting the budget this aggressively gives the impression that the special effects budget of the film will be will likely suffer. I wouldn't be surprised to see this film look more contemporary and the science fiction elements also scaled back. Basically I assume this movie won't look anything like we understand to be from Akira.

Casting other roles has become another problem as names like Ken Watanabe, Kristen Stewart, Helena Bonham Carter have been mentioned but nobody has signed on. The biggest issue is that they haven't nailed down an actor for Testuo. Micheal Pitt (Boardwalk Empire), Toby Kebbell (RockNRolla), Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood) and Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus) were linked for testing for the part but nothing has come from it yet. There have been rounds and rounds of casting tests which haven't been that productive.

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