'Akira' Looking For A New Director?

AkiraJust a few weeks ago, we brought you the news that Keanu Reeves was in talks to star in a live-action adaptation of "Akira," based on Katsuhiro Otomo's celebrated manga (and subsequent animated adaptation). Now, we have word that the project is not only still hunting for its star, but it's also in need of a new director.

"Book of Eli" director Albert Hughes has parted ways with the Warner Bros. project, according to an unconfirmed report that hit Deadline this afternoon. The split is said to stem from "amicable creative differences," and Hughes will likely be behind the camera on a different WB project in the near future.

While the report goes on to indicate that "Akira" is on a fast track at the studio, there's still the small matter of nailing down a pair of lead actors for the roles of Tetsuo and Kaneda.

According to the site, the studio has returned to its previous short list of actors for each role. For Tetsuo, "Twilight" actor Robert Pattinson is on the list along with "The Amazing Spider-Man" star Andrew Garfield and "X-Men: First Class" lead James McAvoy.

Meanwhile, "Tron Legacy" star Garrett Hedlund is being pursued for Kaneda, along with McAvoy's "X-Men: First Class" co-star Michael Fassbender, "Star Trek" actor Chris Pine, pop star Justin Timberlake, and "Gladiator" actor Joaquin Phoenix.

The report also indicates that the studio's plan is to make two films, with each covering three books in Otomo's series.

Of course, it's important to note that none of this has been accompanied by official word from teh studio, so until there's confirmation from WB, consider it all an interesting rumor and keep it locked to MTV Splash Page for more on "Akira" as it develops.

Let us know what you think of this "Akira" news in the comment section or on Twitter! You can also follow me, Splash Page editor Rick Marshall, on Twitter!