In what’s proving to be a pattern in the last, oh, 20 minutes, Albert Hughes has bailed on Akira, Warner Bros.’ mega-budget adaptation of the popular manga series that has faced obstacle after obstacle thanks to the collective karmic will of the Internet. While Hughes’ exit would seem to be the final omen that maybe the project just wasn’t meant to be, a defiant Warner Bros. is moving forward anyway, and is now looking for another director to bring yet another new vision to the film in addition to still trying to lock down a star, despite every actor they’ve approached so far giving it a wide berth.

Most recently those efforts were focused on finding a marquee name with international appeal, which meant skewing toward older choices like Brad Pitt and Keanu Reeves and then retooling the story to suit them. Now the studio has reportedly reverted back to this original shortlist of younger white guys, with the hopes that they’ll find the right two who can help them get Akira in production by the end of the year. Studios with big-budget tentpole pics in the works, maybe call your directors. Apparently today is the filmmaker version of Senior Ditch Day.

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