The praise for Wonder Woman this summer has been overwhelming, but while the other DC Extended Universe movies have each been successful in terms of box office, until Wonder Woman they lacked a certain cache in terms of excitement. They just kind of happened. But money talks, and it talks loudly, so despite the extremely mixed reaction to Suicide Squad, a sequel is in the works, but not under writer/director David Ayer. That duty will fall to a new filmmaker, and the current frontrunner is used to swimming with the sharks. (more…)
I’d like to preface this article by saying that I’m always a fence-sitter when it comes to reboots, remakes and live-action adaptations. I prefer to remain optimistic and make my judgments after production starts and I have a chance to see what’s going on behind the scenes. And I was feeling that way about the Akira adaptation that the folks in Hollywood want to put together. Now, a recent interview with the attached director Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan, Unknown) has made up my mind for me. Scroll down to see what Collet-Serra has to say about Akira and tell me whether or not this man should be allowed to touch this project. (more…)
What’s the old saying? “If at first you don’t succeed…”
Warner Bros is of this opinion because they’re once again opening that can of worms labelled Akira and are now in the process of once again trying to get a live-action American version of the anime classic off the ground and into theaters. Early last year, all efforts in making the Akira film ground to a halt, but now Warners seems to have gone as far as press director Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan, Unknown) into service to bring the film to life.
Now Collet-Serra has been involved in the project before, so maybe since he’s familiar with the territory his name moved to the front of the line. Variety says that the studio likes the director’s take on the material, and the real sticking point now is the budget, which Warner Bros obviously wants to be smaller. Production on Akira has been in development hell for the better part of the last decade, with directors such as Stephen Norrington and the Hughes Brothers previously attached with actors such as Leonardo di Caprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Robert Pattinson all rumored to star at one point or another.
Akira, based on the manga of the same name, is about a teenage biker with psychic powers in dystopian future Tokyo. No release date or anything else official has yet to be offered from the studio. Obviously, we’ll have more news for you as the story develops.
That headlines was a pleasure to to type. Everything about this live-action, Hollywood remake of Akira has sounded TERRIBLE. Just awful. Remember at first we heard Keanu Reeves was to star. Remember how ridiculous that sounded? Who’d have thought it would only become so much weirder when Garret Hedlund and Kristin Stewart were confirmed as leads Kaneda and Kei. Oh! And the film would take place in Neo-Manhattan. It was only the beginning of weird changes, making this film seem less and less like Akira at all.
Maybe, just maybe, we can stop fearing the worst. The movie might not happen at all! What a blessing that would be. THR is reporting the Vancouver production offices have closed and the film’s “being shut down in the face of casting and budgetary issues.” Ah-ha! Sucks to be you un-made Akira film, I hope you never see the light of day!
Apparently now, director Jaume Collet-Serra and the producers will focus on changing the script in order to lower the budget. And we’re talking about a budget that has already been cut in half once before. Soo…yikes. Not sure you can properly adapt Akira on a tiny budget of about $60m, but what the hell, they weren’t looking to properly adapt Akira anyhow.
Let’s all join together and pray this is the last we ever hear of this terrible, rotten idea for a movie. Just let Akira be.
Well, this sure is great news. Variety is reporting that Warner Bros. has officially greenlit its live-action remake of the anime cult hit Akira. Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan, Unknown) will direct. Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Davisson Killoran, and Andrew Lazar will take the producing credit. The budget has been scaled back from $100 million to $90 million and it looks like Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy) is the front runner to star as the movies protagonist, Kaneda.
I am so happy they are finally moving forward with this movie that has no chance of being a terrible terrible idea. Casting 30-something white boys to play the teenage Japanese hoodlums. Taking a classic anime, one that is often a gateway into Japanese cyberpunk crazy ass cartoons and giving it a big old North American make over. Scaling back the budget on a movie that involves the epic scope of the original. Yeah. This is going to be great.
First off, am I the only one who thinks of the Van Halen logo every time I see the golden wing things in the above Xerxes picture?
The status on a the prequel to Zack Snyder’s 300 has been development for some time. The gist being that Snyder got wrapped up in other projects (like the miserable, but visually satisfying ‘Sucker Punch’). With his latest involvement with Man of Steel he just can’t do it. Warner Bros. wants a prequel and sooner than later.
As to who might direct in Snyder’s place has been a question mark for sometime as well. Ultimately, it came down to two choices. Noam Murro and Jaume Collet-Serra.
Well, the job just went to Noam Murro as Collet-Serra recently landing the Akira gig (FYI: I’m so pissed this bastardization of a Japanese Anime and Manga is back on).
Murro may not be a recogniable name, but chances are you’ve seen his work. He’s known for those Spiffy Halo commercials (Reach and ODST. Latter is incredible!). Suffice to say, he’s an untapped writer with huge potential. Potential I think that will be squashed by taking this project. Word is, Warner Bros. wants this shot in the same visually exaggerated style that Snyder applied the first time around. To me, this is a signal that Warner Bros. cares not to embrace any vision Murro has. He’s just a hired hand to replicate Snyder’s work. Which leads me to assume that they simply want to cash in on the brand awareness rather than make an equally unique and quality film. The other indicator of a quick cash grab is the the title change. Xerxes is now 300: Battle of Artemisia. Notice how they just have to insert “300” in the title, even though the battle of the 300 have nothing to do with Xerxes early history? Point is, that in addtion to WB pushing a prequel that nobody really wants, they don’t seem putting any care into making critically acclaimed flick. Not that the original was a masterpiece by any means. It’s success was because it was original. It will take more than shirtless men and flashy visuals this time around.
Zack Snyder and 300 co-writer Kurt Johnstad wrote the script for this one last year before Zack Snyder jumped onto The Man of Steel. The script is based on Frank Miller‘s upcoming graphic novel Xerxes, which features a big opening setpiece in the Battle of Marathon, and follows Xerxes’ quest for goodhood. His rivalry with Greek naval warlord Themistocles (“almost the dead opposite of Leonidas in that Themistocles was a lying, conniving, brilliant, heroic figure,” says Miller) will be a core aspect of the story. [THR]
As a preface to today’s news, I’d like it to be known that I am not in favor of a 300 prequel. This is not to say I didn’t like 300, which I did. I thought it was a fantastic realization of the comic. It’s this very reason why I do not wish to explore the universe anymore. The first flick was more or less a visual exercise; shirtless muscle men, blood, gore and cinematic action sequences galore. However, the narrative of 300 men taking on an army of million+ depicts heroic idealism. There’s connectivity to that. Which is why I think the story from the history books has become legend and subject to all sorts of fantastic interpretations. Suffice to say, it’s inspirational.
This in-the-works prequel aims to explore Xerxes rise to power, supposedly beginning about ten years before 300. To be frank, I just think that pails in comparison to the story of the 300. No matter how you spin it, the story of Xerxes, a bad guy mind you, just doesn’t speak to anything worth exploring. In other word, it’s seems rather pointless.
Well that’s my two cents anyway. For those of you who are vested in the prequel, we have some news.
If you haven’t heard by now, director Zack Snyder’s will not be helming the prequel. His involvement with ‘Man of Steel’ is preventing him from returning. Now, Deadline reports that the list of potential replacement directors is down to two: Noam Murro and Jaume Collet-Serra and that the film has officially been retitled from ‘Xerxes’ to 300: Battle of Artemisia.
Murro’s sole feature directing credit is the 2008 indie comedy/drama Smart People, though he’s also responsible for the live-action marketing campaign for the video game franchise Halo and is attached to direct Die Hard 5. Jaume Collet-Serra meanwhile, directed Orpahn and, mostly recently, Unknown. He’s also said to be helming the upcoming “Dracula” tale, Harker.
As stated earlier, I’m not interested in this prequel, but I am sorta intrigued at seeing Murro’s name being thrown around. He did some amazing work with those live-action Halo commercials. I’m curious to see what he could with a full-length feature such as this. I think he could be the next Snyder or Neill Blomkamp.
Time will tell. Will keep you posted as the news develops. In the mean time, what say you? Do want to see a 300 prequel? How do you feel about the directors mentioned? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.