Movies, now less than ever? On the heels of Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures exhibiting some fiscal responsibility with 'The Lone Ranger' and 'Paradise Lost,' respectively, comes word that Warner Bros. is once again putting the brakes on a potential financial albatross. Production on 'Akira' has been shutdown in an effort to rework the budget.
According to THR, the 'Akira' offices in Vancouver have been closed, while the below-the-line people were told to head home. If the budget issues cannot be resolved, 'Akira' could get shuffled away once again (it has hit the skids three times previously). An adaptation of the famed Japanese manga, the film was set to star Garrett Hedlund, with Kristen Stewart, Gary Oldman and Helena Bonham Carter in negotiations to also appear. Jaume Collet-Serra ('Unknown') will direct, provided this actually happens.

Last summer, Warner Bros. pulled a similar tactic with 'The Lone Ranger,' before settling on a new budget (a still-ridiculous $215 million) with producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Gore Verbinski and star Johnny Depp.

'Paradise Lost,' an adaptation of John Milton's classic poem with Bradley Cooper playing Lucifer, was shelved late in 2011 by Legendary Pictures. This, after Universal ditched plans for 'The Dark Tower' with Ron Howard and 'At the Mountains of Madness' with Guillermo Del Toro and Tom Cruise. Are studios in the middle of a new era of fiscal responsibility?

UPDATE: Maybe not? Variety reports that the shutdown is due to script issues. Developing...

[via THR/Heat Vision]

[Photo: GF/]

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categories Movies