Sometimes a pipe is a pipe, and in the case of Warner Bros. "Akira," a messy production is just that. After failing to land Keanu Reeves and with the top shelf blockbuster still sputtering to get started, Deadline reports that Albert Hughes has left "Akira" with the good ol' vague catchall of "creative differences" being cited as the reason.
But this story just doesn't end here. Apparently, the studio -- perhaps ignorant of the massive disinterest and wariness from the the faithful about the project -- plans to press on the with film, keeping it on the fast track despite seemingly having no clear idea of what approach they want to use. The studio is now going to go back to the batch of actors rumored this past spring to find their leads for the film. So first they didn't need a big star, then they did and now they don't again. Okay, maybe we can see why Hughes bailed.
To refresh your memory, Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield and James McAvoy were being considered for Tetsuo, while Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake and Joaquin Phoenix were among those being sought for Kaneda. But with the stink coming strong off of "Akira," will any of these folks be lured? Not to mention the cries of the story being whitewashed when these folks were first announced. That said, the film still has a script by Steve Kloves which the studio believes in and for those of you just catching, it uses the first three books of the manga series and relocates the setting to New Manhattan.
The studio is apparently looking to lock down a replacement fast while Hughes will begin looking at other projects to direct at the studio. So yeah, expect a shortlist story to show up in 3....2....1....