The whitewashed, Americanized version of Akira looks like it might be dead on the vine… again. This is the third time that the movie has been shelved by the studio, but it is looking like the problems in casting and budgets might be truly insurmountable this time.
For some reason, the studio seems to want to not only remake the movie with a nearly all white cast and place it in a post apocalyptic America, but they want to do it between 60-70 Million dollars. This sounds like a big chunk of change, but compare that with the current #1 box office movie, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, which had a budget of $145 Million and doesn’t have nearly as many special effects as Akira would need… of done properly.
Though, I guess that doing it properly was never really a concern to start with.
Much of the budget concerns revolve around casting. They already have Garrett Hedlund lined up to play Keneda, but they want Kristen Steweart, Ken Watanabe and Helena Bonham Carter on the cast as well and there is just no wat to get them all in there for the money.
The project, which has been through several incarnations, is being shut down in the face of casting and budgetary issues. The production offices in Vancouver are being closed, with below-the-line talent and crew told to stop working. “Everybody is being sent home,” according to an insider.
If the issues cannot be resolved, the project could end up being shelved entirely, say insiders.
The irony is, that based on how Hollywood is known for underpaying minorities… If they had just stuck with an Asian cast, they probably could have come in well under budget!