×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Warner Bros. taps ‘Unknown’ director for ‘Akira’

Live-action tentpole moves forward with Jaume Collett-Serra

Warner Bros. is moving ahead with its remake of “Akira” in a fiscally sensible way, tapping reliable Spanish helmer Jaume Collet-Serra (“Orphan,” “Unknown”) to direct a live-action version of the anime cult hit at a lower revised budget of $90 million.

WB acquired the potential tentpole project for a seven-figure sum from Japanese manga publisher Kodansha in 2008. Ruairi Robinson and Albert Hughes were previously attached to direct the adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s graphic novel, but Hughes exited amicably in May over creative differences.

Gary Whitta was the first writer attached, while Albert Torres and the team of Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby also contributed drafts. Steve Kloves, WB’s go-to scribe for its lucrative “Harry Potter” franchise, most recently polished Torres’ draft.

Set in New Manhattan, the cyberpunk sci-fi epic follows the leader of a biker gang who must save his friend, discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experimentats.

Appian Way’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran are producing with Mad Chance’s Andrew Lazar. Otomo, who wrote and directed the 1988 Japanese anime pic of the same name, will exec produce “Akira.”

Collet-Serra has earned a reputation for delivering pics on time and on budget, and his box office performance has been rising with each effort: His feature directorial debut “House of Wax” took in $68 million worldwide in 2005, while 2009’s “Orphan” grossed more than $76 million worldwide. Earlier this year, Liam Neeson starrer “Unknown” opened in the top spot and has grossed more than $130 million worldwide on a reported production budget of $30 million.

Helmer is also attached to direct WB’s vampire pic “Harker,” another Appian Way production.

Collet-Serra is repped by CAA and Circle of Confusion.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Bruce Springsteen arrives for the New

    Bruce Springsteen Returns to NJ Hometown for Surprise 'Western Stars' Introduction

    Bruce Springsteen returned to his hometown of Freehold, New Jersey to offer a surprise introduction to the first public multiplex viewing of his concert/documentary film, “Western Stars.” Dressed simply in a brown jacket, Springsteen took a moment to say a few words at the AMC Freehold 14 movie theater on Saturday night. “We knew we [...]

  • Backstage in Puglia del film SPACCAPIETRE:

    'Gomorrah' Star Salvatore Esposito Set For De Serio Twins' 'The Stonebreaker'

    Salvatore Esposito, the Italian star who plays young mob boss Genny Savastano in Italy’s hit TV series “Gomorrah,” will soon be hitting the big screen toplining upcoming drama “The Stonebreaker” by twin directorial duo Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio, who are known internationally for “Seven Acts of Mercy.” The De Serio twins are now in post on “Stonebreaker” [...]

  • Angelina Jolie is Maleficent in Disney’s

    Box Office: 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' Tops 'Joker,' 'Zombieland'

    “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” is on track to give Disney another first place finish after scoring $12.5 million in Friday’s domestic ticket sales. If estimates hold, the Angelina Jolie-led film should finish the weekend with about $38 million — well below earlier forecasts but enough to top holdover “Joker” and fellow newcomer “Zombieland: Double Tap.” [...]

  • Maelle Arnaud

    Lumière Chief Programmer Maelle Arnaud: 'Film History Doesn't Have Parity'

    LYON, France   — As the Lumière Institute’s head programmer since 2001, Maelle Arnaud helped launched the Lumière Festival in 2009 and has watched it grow in international esteem over the decade that followed. This year, the festival ran 190 films across 424 screenings in theaters all over town. The festival will come to a [...]

  • Girl with Green Eyes

    Talking Pictures TV: Bringing the Past Back to Life in the U.K.

    LYON, France – Since its launch in 2015, Talking Pictures TV has become the fastest-growing independent channel in the U.K. with a growing library of British film and TV titles that span five decades, according to founder Noel Cronin. Noel Cronin attended the Lumière Festival’s International Classic Film Market (MIFC) in Lyon, France, where he [...]

  • Wings of Desire

    German Heritage Sector Applauds Increased Digitization, Preservation Funding

    LYON, France  — Germany’s film heritage sector is celebrating a new federal and state-funded initiative launching in January that will provide €10 million ($11.15 million) a year towards the digitization and preservation of feature films. Rainer Rother, the artistic director of the Deutsche Kinemathek, outlined the plan at a panel discussion at the Lumière Festival’s [...]

  • 'QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight'

    Film Review: 'QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight'

    In one of the intermittent revealing moments in “QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight,” a documentary about the films of Quentin Tarantino that’s like a familiar but tasty sundae for Quentin fans, we see Tarantino on the set of “Pulp Fiction,” shooting the iconic dance contest at Jack Rabbit Slim’s. As John Travolta and Uma [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content