AkiraEarly last year, Warner Bros. hit the stop button on the long-awaited American live-action remake of Akira, just as it was about to begin shooting. Word soon arose that they wanted to bring down the $90m. budget, as well as make some changes to the script.

Following director Jaume Collet-Serra’s exit of the project, we’ve heard very little about the long-in-development adaptation. But now Variety report that Collet-Serra is in talks to return to the director’s chair once more, and you have to believe that he’d only be doing so if he thought there was a good chance that Akira will actually be getting made this time.

The studio had begun looking at other directors recently, including Ariel Shulman and Henry Joost (Catfish), with an aim to try to find someone who could deliver the adaptation on a smaller scale.

But they were reportedly still in love with Collet-Serra’s vision for the project, and sources say that the director has found the time in his schedule to make it happen, as well as a new approach to the material that would meet the studio’s budget requests.

When Collet-Serra was last on board, the cast had begun to get very impressive, with Garrett Hedlund attached, and Kristen Stewart, Helena Bonham Carter, and Ken Watanabe all in talks to board the project. Whether any of the four will be returning alongside their director remains to be seen, but here’s to hoping, because that line-up was undeniably impressive.

The film is an adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s original manga, which Otomo in turn adapted into the renowned, cult classic anime back in 1988. Whereas the original is set in Neo-Tokyo, the US remake is expected to be set in New Manhattan.

After finding success with Liam Neeson on Unknown, Collet-Serra recently reunited with his action star for the upcoming Non-Stop, and is now in pre-production on Run All Night, a crime drama that will see Neeson star alongside Ed Harris and Joel Kinnaman.

The plan is for Collet-Serra to go into production after that, in the spring of 2014. And, if all goes well, there’s a very good reason to believe that 2015 will have yet another hugely-anticipated blockbuster to put on the calendar. With a Spring 2014 production date eyed, expect the first casting news to be coming in the next few weeks and months.