Keanu Reeves Passes On Akira

By Eric Eisenberg 2011-05-17 14:46:52discussion comments
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Albert Hughes can't catch a break. Between headbutting with studio chiefs, losing Mila Kunis to Oz: The Great and Powerful, script rewrites, and getting George Takei pissed about whitewashing, Hughes' adaptation of Akira has experienced too many ups-and-downs to count. Last we heard, however, things were looking pretty good, as Keanu Reeves had entered talks to star. So guess what's happening now?

JoBlo reports that Keanu Reeves has officially decided to pass on Akira. What's more, the studio has also let go most of the staff working on the project and has shut down the film's previsualization department. If you're wondering if the entire thing has been shut down, the answer is no. Reaching out to Warner Bros. for comment about the situation, the studio responded with the following statement:
"Production on Akira has not halted or been shut down, as the film has not yet been greenlit and is still very much in the development stage. The exploratory process is crucial to a project of this magnitude, and we will continue to sculpt our approach to making the best possible film."
While Akira may still live, it sounds as though they are now attempting a major overhaul as a means to turn fortunes. Considering the many, many shifts it's actually impressive that Albert Hughes has managed to hold on to his job. With Reeves leaving perhaps now they'll do the right thing and make an effort to cast Asian actors as they should have been doing from the beginning.
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