This is a case of what seems completely obvious to the fanbase may not be so obvious to the studio - Warner Brothers is shutting down production of AKIRA at this time, according to the Hollywood Reporter. With Jaume Collet-Serra at the helm, it looks like he just couldn't make the movie at $90 million. Sources say it's budgetary concerns, with the studio trying to bring it down to $70 million, and at least one source says it's the script, by Steve Kloves, that just isn't ready.
This shouldn't come as a shock to anyone who's ever seen the anime - AKIRA is huge spectacle and the last half-hour practically goes to the edge of the universe and back. If they were sticking close to the cartoon, they would have to contend with a vast city being destroyed, a giant amoeba-like god in the middle of a stadium, satellites shooting lasers from the sky, and that's just the tip of the tentacle. According to insiders, if they can't get these issues squared away the project could be shut down entirely.
I really did want to see an American take on the subject matter, but if they can't do it right, there's no point in doing it at all. AKIRA is beloved by anime fans the world over, and a live-action film from America might not have held up to the incredible scrutiny that would have been plaed upon it. Add to that a director who just did not seem right for a project of this scale, and I think this could very well have been a recipe for disaster.
So what do you think? Bullet dodged for now? Is this a movie you want to see someday, under the right conditions?