Warner Bros has shut down pre-production on the live action version of Akira, closing the production office and sending everybody home. The problem? The budget.
This isn't the first time Akira has stumbled, and it isn't the first time the budget has been deemed too high. The movie was once a 200 million dollar blockbuster, but the latest iteration is budgeted at only 90 million - a steal for a huge special effects film. Still, that's seen as too high by Warner Bros, who has finally figured out they have a fucking Garrett Hedlund movie on their hands. The new budget goal: 60 or 70 million. That's seriously chump change for a film of this scale, at least in the studio system.
Me, I'm excited to see WB trying to do this on the cheap. I strongly believe Hollywood budgets are WAY too high, especially for genre films. If you make a film for a lower budget, it doesn't need to be a four quadrant smash, and you can try to do something interesting or special with it, instead of attempting to follow the usual blockbuster pattern.
Of course this budget could prove too low for the film, effectively killing it. If so, no great loss. I don't really know why anybody felt a white live action version of this story was so pressing. Sources tell the Hollywood Reporter that the film will come back - it's already come back from the dead on three occasions - but even the toughest boxer only hits the canvas so many times before he quits getting up.