When a film has been in development hell for 11 years, surely that serves as something of a hint - perhaps that the project should be abandoned? In 2002. Warner Bros. acquired the rights to make a live-action remake of the Japanese animated classic that - since its release in 1988 - has gone on to become a landmark title in Asian cinema and circle circles: Akira is a movie with tantalising and breathtaking visuals that cannot be matched in the live-action format, even with today's visual technology. Since it was announced, almost every actor in Hollywood has been rumored to star in the remake - everyone from from Michael Fassbender to Keanu Reeves, Gary Oldman and Zac Efron have been slated for roles. Strangely (but not so unsurprisingly), very few Asian actors have been considered for any of the roles, despite George Takei's protest claiming that casting white actors would offend both Asian actors and fans of the original manga and film. Not only is whitewashing an issue, but the location is also said to have moved from Tokyo to Manhattan. Well, we can't have a load of western actors running about Neo-Tokyo, can we? Why not keep the eastern culture and cast Asian actors? Hollywood is thinking with its wallets, that's why: they need a cast of predominantly white males and an all-American location so as not to alienate the biggest money-making western audiences. However, taking into account that the original Akira has made $80 million, and that it is also a story with no shortage of contemporary substance just waiting to be discovered by new fans and rediscovered by old, the remake itself could be made for roughly $100 million and still, in my opinion, make a profit. Many of the mind-blowing effects shown in the original animated film would be difficult to recreate on that budget, though. But with the modern power of visual effects, it is fair to assume that a budget of $100 million would at least do it justice. Surely there would be more integrity to keeping it an Asian story that is still accessible to viewers the world over that don't necessarily have to only rely on expensive effects? But we all know that much of Hollywood doesn't care about integrity, and the Japanese film industry wouldn't be able to afford a justifiable budget for a remake. Not only that, they probably don't see the point in remaking it. It's a classic that cannot be matched and Japanese filmmakers are too busy focusing on new and original projects that haven't been attempted before. At the beginning of 2012, we were treated to the news that production for Akira had shut down for the fourth time, giving us the impression that Hollywood had given up once and for all. However, given that Warner Bros. have probably already had to pay an arm and a leg to acquire the rights to adapt the film, the end is not for certain. Latest news on the film reports that Spanish film director Jaume Collet-Serra (whose career boasts flops such as Goal 2 and Unknown) is hoping to begin filming Akira in 2014.