Deadline: Hughes Leaves Live-Action Akira Project (Updated)
posted on by Gia Manry
The North American film news site Deadline reported on Thursday that director Albert Hughes has departed from the live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo's manga and anime film Akira. According to the report, Hughes departed amicably due to "creative differences" on the film, and the studio still intends to keep the film "on a fast track." Deadline further states that Warner intends to put Hughes on another film shortly.
The report cites "insiders" for the information. Warner Bros. had not responded to ANN's request for comment at press time.
Last week, the movie news site JoBlo.com reported that Keanu Reeves had passed on the lead role of Kaneda in the film, and that "most" of the film's staff had been let go. At the time, the site noted that Hughes was still attached to the project.
Screenwriters Gary Whitta, Mark Fergus, and Hawk Ostby were previously attached to the project, but the development team with producer Andrew Lazar (Jonah Hex, Space Cowboys, Get Smart) hired a new writer named Albert Torres. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic, The Aviator) is producing through his Appian Way production company. When the project was originally announced in 2008, it was intended to be the directorial debut for Ireland's Ruairi Robinson. Last year, Hughes told the Japanese movie news site Eiga.com that his next film is Akira.
In March, an alleged short list of possible cast members, including Justin Timberlake and Robert Pattinson, was posted by movie news site Deadline. While Pattinson himself downplayed the report, Star Trek television actor George Takei promoted petitions against the alleged "white-washing" (casting of only caucasian actors) of the series, whose original characters are Japanese.
Update: Added background information, image.
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