We've spent months writing stories about Albert Hughes's action film Motor City, and they've all fallen on pretty similar lines-- first we write about an actor who might star in the film, then we write about him leaving, then about another actor replacing him, then about that actor dropping out. The film had been sputtering to the start line for over a year before Gerard Butler recently signed on to play the lead, and with production set to start in mid-September, they seemed all set to finally get going… until the bottom, suddenly, fell out again.

And this time, it's a much bigger problem than just finding an actor to replace. According to Deadline, the film's financiers at Emmet/Furla Films, Envision Entertainment and Foresight Entertainment have pulled their support, realizing that the "drop-dead" April 2013 release date mandated by Warner Bros. would be impossible to reach. The film, which would have starred Butler as a man who escapes from prison and sets off for revenge against the man (Adrien Brody) who sent him there on a false charge, would have had just 12 weeks of post-production time, and though it's unclear how effects-heavy the film would have been, that apparently wasn't enough time to keep the backers happy.

Everyone says right now that they want to make Motor City happen someday, but this kind of last-minute shutdown almost assuredly means the cast will move on, and there may be script rewrites or even a director change in the future as well. It's unclear if Warner Bros. will stand by it, which means there might not be a big motivating force behind the scenes to put it all back together again. Projects like this have come back from the dead plenty of times, but for now, I would count on Motor City being one of those big ideas that just never came together.

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