Deadline is reporting that director Albert Hughes has left the film Akira. They call it “an amicable creative differences parting of the ways.” Take that as you will, I think there’s more to the story though.
Although Hughes is departing the film, he’ll stay at Warner Bros. and will be in Hollywood next week to partake in a couple of meetings in hopes of finding a new project at the studio.
As for Akira, Warner Bros. is intent on keeping the film on the fast track, so you can expect another director to take over for Hughes pretty soon. They still need their star though, and after negotiations ended with Keanu Reeves the studio may have to go back to their shortlist, which included names like Andrew Garfield, James McAvoy, Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake and Joaquin Phoenix.
Personally, I don’t blame Hughes. I mean, how long do you expect the guy to wait around? I know they want to fast track it but for a film on the fast track, it’s moving awfully slow. And plus, Hughes is a talented director who is likely getting many offers, I’m sure being tied to Akira isn’t helping him very much.
So without a director and star, the project doesn’t look like it’s coming to theatres anytime soon, despite the studio’s intentions to fast track it. Still, I think it won’t be long before we hear about the new director, which brings up the question, who should it be?