‘Akira’ Gets An ‘Unknown’ Director In Collet-Serra

Thursday, July 14 by

The Akira news factory keeps plugging along, this time with news that, after the departure of Albert Hughes, directing duties will be taken over by Jaume Collet-Serra, the director of both Unknown and Orphan. It’s a choice that indicates that they might not want to pump as much money into the project as was originally thought, as Collet-Serra has been able to demonstrate strong returns on nominal budgets, with Unknown collecting over $130 million on a budget of only about $30 million. The budget for Akira is rumored to be in the $90 million range, a big step up for Collet-Serra, but not in the ballpark of many other tentpole releases.

The Variety story also mentions offhand that the film will be set in “New Manhattan,” a move that will a) explain the presence of all the white movie stars, while also b) frustrating fans of the source material. Not a huge surprise, given the casting rumors that had been circulating.

The choice doesn’t shed too much light on the constantly-shifting project, but getting a director on board might help the producers from Appian Way start garnering cast members to turn “New Manhattan” into “White Tokyo.”

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