Double blow for genre fans today as David O. Russell has bailed on the big-screen adaptation of DRAKE’S FORTUNE and Albert Hughes has left Warner’s remake of AKIRA. No word yet on why Russell decided to leave but one could safely assume that his vision for the flick (a family-oriented adventure flick that Mark Wahlberg, Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci were circling) clashed with what the studio wanted (big dumb summer action fluff). That’s just my opinion based on the sketchy info that’s been made available up to this point.
I’m sure fanboys of FORTUNE are happy about Russell’s departure as they’ve been pretty vocal that he was the wrong director for the job. I’m apt to agree, but I don’t really care either way. Haven’t played the games that inspired this flick and probably won’t anytime soon, so my opinion is kinda moot.
As for Hughes leaving AKIRA, I’m okay with this. Yeah, it would’ve been nice if Hughes had brought some of that BOOK OF ELI magic to AKIRA and made this into a smart blockbuster. But…and this is a big one…Hughes wanted Keanu Reeves for the Tetsuo role and that leads me to believe his heart wasn’t in the right place. Like maybe Warner was pushing for this to be more a new MATRIX franchise rather than a true blue adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s graphic novel. Not sure where this leaves the project, but I’m sure it isn’t a good place. Wager to guess “development hell” till Warner finds another sap to work on it.