The late February or March start-up production for "Akira" has been shut down, according to a few sources such as The Hollywood Reporter and Variety.
The film was slated to film in Vancouver, Canada, and set for a 2013 release. But, because of a "bloated" budget and other concerns, staff has been sent home and the project could be shelved entirely. According to The Hollywood Reporter, "everybody has been sent home."
At issue besides the budget is the script. Producers Jennifer Kiloran Davisson and Andrew Lazar are looking to hire another writer to work on rewrites. Right now, the only person who has inked on the dotted line has been the film's director, Jaume Collet-Serra. The budget came in at $90 million and Warner Bros. was looking at between $60 to 70 million, so further cuts are expected.
The film's storyline, notes IMDB, is, "part one of a two-part live action adaptation of the 1988 anime film, 'Akira.' in which the leader of a biker gang tries to save his kidnapped friend from a powerful supernatural experiment."
Those rumored to star are Kristen Stewart, Helena Bonham Carter and Ken Watanabe. It has also been bantered about that Steve Kloves is the one they want to fix the script. He is known for work on the "Harry Potter" films.
Do not expect this to be a dead issue as "Akira" has been been there before. The Anime News Network reports Warner Bros. really wants this project. They even quote Variety and their tent project notion. "The Variety entertainment trade magazine had described the film as a 'potential tent pole project.'"
Please note that a "tent pole" franchise is a property which will support a studio, financially, for much of a particular movie season.
That is the hope.