The search continues for the right marquee, middle-aged white guy to properly inhabit the Japanese teenaged lead in the Hughes Bros.’ Akira remake, as those recent negotiations with Keanu Reeves have now broken down, according to JoBlo. The revelation comes shortly after Warner Bros. reportedly put a halt to most of the film’s pre-production work, but the studio has issued a statement clarifying that it did not qualify as a “shutdown,” as technically the film has not yet been greenlit. In the meantime, any seeming delays are really just part of an “exploratory process” as the producers “sculpt our approach” to making the massively budgeted film work, which now includes finding another name actor who could possibly bring added box-office appeal now that Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, James Franco, and Reeves have all passed. So rest assured, that Warner Bros. still fully intends to create the most responsibly kick-ass, awesomely market-tested sort-of adaptation of Akira possible.

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