For far too long we’ve been teased with a live-action Akira movie that’s seen numerous creators come and go, but back in August we learned that writer/director Jaume Collet-Serra ultimately “won” the job with a vision that impressed studio heads the most.
Since then, we’ve heard nothing – mainly because Jaume has been busy with films like Non-Stop and Run All Night. However, I recently had the chance to catch up with the director at the press day for Non-Stop and I asked him what his future plans were, and if they included Akira.
Here’s his response:
Jaume Collet-Serra: I’m still fighting with Akira. The studio is hot on it again. I left the project two years ago, they waited for me, they’ve been like, “We want you to do the movie,” and so I’m writing again. One of the issues why it stopped was the script. We all understand we need a script we can actually afford, and so that’s what we’re doing – we’re writing.
WGTC: So to confirm, you’re still attached?
Jaume Collet-Serra: Oh I’m very attached! The problem is whether they’re going to seriously go ahead and do it, but that’s me pushing it. I’m pushing and pushing Akira. I want to be able to do the movie and go to Japan to film it!
It sounds like Jaume has the job outright at this point, which we already knew, but it also sounds as if there’s still a long road ahead. Going back to the writing phase means the studio still has to be confident in Collet-Serra’s Akira story, and the fact that there’s still a “fight” going on means that anything can still happen.
On the flip side, having the studio wait for Jaume Collet-Serra means that they really like what the auteur has to offer, indicating that quality is a priority for this ambitious film. As Collet-Serra says above, it’s all about making a script that they can afford, and producing the best possible project the studio can.
Fans of course will debate Akira to the death until it’s made, but I really hope that the studio is holding out for Jaume Collet-Serra because of a general want for quality, which again is reinforced by the timeframe that this project has been stewing.
Is it finally time to move forward with Akira? It appears that it’s Mr. Collet-Serra’s job to lose at this point – and let’s hope all his pushing leads to some concrete progress.