Studio gives go ahead to live-action remake.

Warner Bros. has decided to move forward with its live-action remake of Katsuhiro Otomo’s 1988 anime cult classic ‘Akira,’ and has greenlit the long-delayed project for a late February/early March start.

‘Unknown’ director Jaume Collet-Serra is confirmed to direct, and will be working with a budget of $90 million. The project was initially budgeted at well over $100 million.

Sources close to the project told Variety that the both the studio and Collet-Serra are very keen on ‘Tron: Legacy’ star Garrett Hedlund, and that while no offer has been made, he is now a frontrunner for one of the two male leads.

Set in New Manhattan, the cyberpunk sci-fi epic follows the leader of a biker gang who must save his friend, discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran will be producing under their Appian Way banner, with Mad Chance’s Andrew Lazar also on board to produce along with executive producer Otomo.