Back in January of 2012, Warner Bros. put their live-action adaptation of Akira on hold to work out some script issues to make it fit the $90 million budget.
Director Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown, Orphan) was attached to direct it but ended up leaving to direct a film with Liam Neeson called Non Stop. Now it looks like he's coming back on board and is in negotiations with the studio.
They have been meeting with other directors, but apparently the studio still likes Collet-Serra's vision the best. According to Variety, "sources say the director found time in his schedule as well as a new way to approach the adaptation that would meet the studio’s budget request. "
The director is currently in pre-production on another movie called Run All Night with Neeson, Joel Kinnaman, and Ed Harris. He would work on Akira when he's done with that in spring of 2014.
The movie is set in New Manhattan, and the cyberpunk sci-fi story follows the leader of a biker gang who must save his friend, discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments.
I love the original anime film, but I have a bad feeling that the studio is going to screw this one up. I hope I'm wrong.
Here's a more detailed description of the movie that was previously released:
Desperate to get his brother back, Kaneda agrees to join with Ky Reed and her underground movement who are intent on revealing to the world what truly happened to New York City thirty years ago when it was destroyed. Kaneda believes their theories to be ludicrous but after finding his brother again, is shocked when he displays telekinetic powers.
Ky believes Tetsuo is headed to release a young boy, Akira, who has taken control of Tetsuo’s mind. Kaneda clashes with The Colonel’s troops on his way to stop Tetsuo from releasing Akira but arrives too late. Akira soon emerges from his prison courtesy of Tetsuo as Kaneda races in to save his brother before Akira once again destroys Manhattan island, as he did thirty years ago.