Albert Hughes dropping out as the director of Akira really isn't the worst news in the world. In fact I'm kind of glad he's not a part of it. I never really thought he had what it took to make a awesome live-action big screen adaptation. According to inside source he left the project due to creative difference between he and the studio. Warner Bros. is going to try and put him on as a director for another movie at the studio soon though. They still want to work with him, just not on Akira.
The studio still wants to make the film, and it's still considered as being on the "fast track," which is funny because it's been on the slow track for years. Hughes leaving the film isn't going to make anything go faster. The studio is now on the hunt to find another director to take on the Katsuhiro Otomo classic. It will be interesting to see who they get.
Originally the studio wanted to cast a couple of popular young actors to take on the two lead roles of Kaneda and Tetsuo. These actors included Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield or James McAvoy for Tetsuo and Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake or Joaquin Phoenix for Kaneda. Later the studio started looking at bigger name actors to help bring in a bigger audience so they went after actors like Brad Pitt, James Franco, and Keanu Reeves who recently passed on the project.
According to Deadline the studio the studio is going to go back and look at younger actors to cast in the film, and they hope to get the film into production later this year or early next. The plan for this project is to make two films each covering 3 books in the series.
Who would you like to see come on and direct the movie?