Akira (Original)

Warner Bros.’ live-action adaptation of Akira has gone through so many rough patches at this point that it’s a struggle for us to even remember at any given time whether it’s on again, or off. But Jaume Collet-Serra hasn’t lost track, because he’s still planning to direct. In fact, it’ll “hopefully” be his next project.

Whether that’s good news or bad news for fans of the source material is another question. While Collet-Serra says he wants to be “respectful,” he’s not interested in being overly faithful. For one thing, he hopes to “bring strong characters” into the film because he doesn’t find any of the characters from the original to be interesting. Read his comments after the jump.

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Liam Neeson Non Stop

Liam Neeson‘s action-star career resurgence has been an exciting ride. Sure Taken 2 wasn’t as good as the first and Unknown stunk, but Neeson’s permanent charisma makes him exciting and believable as the aging hero in films like The Grey.

Not as believable as “Neeson the action star” is the plot of his new movie, Non-Stop. But that’s half the fun isn’t it? Neeson plays an Air Marshall on a transatlantic flight who is framed for a hijacking as he’s simultaneously trying to stop it. He’s joined on board by Julianne Moore and Downton Abbey‘s Michellle Dockery with Jaume Collet-Serra directing. It hits theaters February 28 and you can see the first trailer below. Read More »

Akira

Warner Bros. can no longer rely on the big summer projects developed by Legendary, so what’s the studio to do? How about the revival of a dead project? For years WB was working on a live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo‘s manga and movie Akira, but the last effort was put to bed over a year ago. Now it’s back on, and the guy who was last in the director’s chair, Jaume Collet-Serra, is in talks to return. Read More »

Director Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan) and actor Bradley Cooper both recently saw their respective Warner Bros. projects hit the skids. The director was set to make Akira, while Cooper was going to play Lucifer in Paradise Lost.

With both of those films scuttled for now, WB may be pairing the two men on another project: Here There Be Monsters, the film written by Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential) in which a disgraced British Naval Officer encounters a giant sea serpent. Read More »

NBC’s Community may be on hiatus, but don’t think for a second that its cast has been slacking off. Not only is production still in full swing, several of the show’s stars have been working on outside projects as well. Gillian Jacobs, for one, has just wrapped Revenge for Jolly! and has a part in this summer’s Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. She’ll next head to Burt Wonderstone, with Steve Carell and Jim Carrey.

Directed by Don Scardino (30 Rock), the comedy centers around a Las Vegas magician (Carell) who finds himself upstaged by a hipper illusionist (Carrey). He then ditches his partner and tries to rediscover his passion for magic. Jacobs is set to play a woman who hooks up with Carell’s character after meeting him at one of his shows. The film already boasts a seriously talented comedic cast, with Brad Garrett, James Gandolfini, Steve Buscemi, and Olivia Wilde on board as well, and Jacobs seems like a fantastic addition. Burt Wonderstone is currently shooting in Las Vegas for a 2013 release. [THR]

After the jump, Jacobs’ Revenge for Jolly! co-star Oscar Isaac nabs another new role.

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Briefly: I don’t know what Russell Crowe‘s agent is doing, but it is working. Casting news and rumors have been thick of late for the actor. Though he said the report of MGM looking at him for RoboCop was untrue, there is still the matter of Crowe being in talks for Darren Aronofsky’s Noah and Akiva Goldsman’s adaptation of the Mark Helperin novel Winter’s Tale. He’s also playing Inspector Javert in Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables.

And now Crowe is also reportedly in talks with Warner Bros. to take a starring role in Harker, the Dracula retelling that Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan) is developing to direct. Read More »

Looks like the process of studios scrutinizing spending on films in development is a process that will continue into 2012. Disney put Lone Ranger on hold last year when the budget escalated to over $250m, and Warner Bros. started looking keenly at the budget for Arthur & Lancelot in mid-December.

Now the production offices for the live-action Akira have reportedly been closed and the film put on hold while WB figures out how much the film is really going to cost, and decides whether that money will be well-spent. Read More »

With any remake, one of the biggest questions is how closely it’ll hew to the source material. In the case of Jaume Collet-Serra‘s live-action, English-language Akira, we already know that the action has been moved from neo-Tokyo to neo-Manhattan, and that Warner Bros. has tapped the Caucasian, late-20s Garrett Hedlund to star as Kaneda, originally written as a Japanese teenager. A lot of our other assumptions so far, however, have simply been based on our knowledge of the previous film.

Now a recent casting call has revealed a synopsis of the plot, shedding some light on what we can and can’t expect to see changed in Collet-Serra’s version. For the most part the story seems to have made the move to our shores intact, though there are some noteworthy edits. Read more after the jump.

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