Keanu Reeves is the latest in a long list of big names actor’s to pass on playing a character in Warner Bros over-budget and increasingly doomed live action version of the classic Japanese Anime. Brad Pitt, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Franco, Ryan Gosling, Andrew Garfield, James McAvoy, Zac Effron and Robert Pattison have all been approached and said ‘no’ and now Reeves joins that ever growing list. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way production company picked up the film in 2008, with Albert Hughes signing on to direct in 2010. The story was going to move the action from neo-Tokyo to Manhatten, but now it would seem Warners have paused for a serious re-think.
The movie’s budget is already at a staggering $140 million, and it is still in the development stages. It would seem the sheer scale and scope of the story is just too much. Warner were hoping to make a deal with Universal which has now been stopped, and to make matters worse Akira’s pre-viz FX department has been closed, with most of the staff out of a job. Warners are not writing the film off just yet, and had this to say:
“Production on Akira has not halted or been shut down, as the film has not yet been green-lit and is still very much in the development stage. The exploratory process is crucial to a project of this magnitude, and we will continue to sculpt our approach to making the best possible film”
By Matt Wavish