Albert Hughes (of the Hughes Brothers), the man responsible for Dead Presidents, Menace II Society, and most recently The Book of Eli, has dropped out of directing Warner Bros.' live action Akira adaptation.
His departure adds to the movie's fair share of ups and downs (mostly downs) in the last year. Last week, Keanu Reeves turned down the opportunity to play biker gang leader Kaneda, which compounded the studio's woes to wrap their collective heads around adapting Katsuhiro Otomo's sci-fi classic for a new audience.
The studio may scrap altogether the idea of bringing in an older and provenly bankable star and pull from a younger pool of actors including Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield, or James McAvoy for Tetsuo and Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake, or Joaquin Phoenix for Kaneda.
Now that Hughes has begun to look at other scripts and Warner Bros.' high-priority project seems to be lacking a cohesive vision—will Akira even see the light of day?