Akira has stalled as Warner Bros. wants the film's screenplay revamped. Will the $90-million production to be directed by Jaume Collet-Serra still be a go? Well, possibly. Variety cites two examples of projects that have been recently put on hold due to budgetary issues, but that haven't necessarily been shut down for good.
One is David Dobkin's Arthur & Lancelot. The adventure fantasy's March 15, 2013, release date is now on hold while the studio finds ways to reduce its budget from $135 to $110 million. Kit Harington and Joel Kinnaman have the title roles.
The other title is Alex Proyas' Paradise Lost, which will miss its January start date due to budgetary woes. The one box office name in the project is Bradley Cooper, who is set to play Lucifer. Benjamin Walker is to play Lucifer's nemesis, the Archangel Gabriel, while Camille Belle will play the apple-eating Eve.
Akira has a relatively unproven box office name in the person of Garrett Hedlund, whose one commercial hit – a relatively moderate one – was TRON: Legacy in 2010. Later this year (at least in France), Hedlund will be seen in Walter Salles' independently made On the Road, co-starring Kristen Stewart, Sam Riley, Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen, and Amy Adams.
Coincidentally, Kristen Stewart was reportedly “in talks” to co-star with Hedlund in Akira. So far, that has come to naught. An actor to play Akira's nemesis hasn't been cast as yet, either, though performers as varied as Brad Pitt, Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield, and James McAvoy have been mentioned as possibilities. As per Variety, only two actors remained in contention by late 2011: Michael Pitt and Dane DeHaan, neither of whom is a box office name.
Even so, Variety adds that “the studio is by no means pulling the plug. Insiders said a new writer will probably be brought on over the next two weeks to focus on character elements and particularly on the pic's look.” No official names as yet, but rumor has it that the possibilities are The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises' Jonathan Nolan and, somewhat surprisingly, Green Lantern's Michael Green. Directed by Martin Campbell and starring Ryan Reynolds, Green Lantern was widely derided by critics and turned out to be a box office flop.