Director departs live-action remake

Albert Hughes has ankled from the director’s chair for Warner Bros.’ “Akira,” the studio’s live-action remake of the Japanese anime hit.

Hughes had been attached to “Akira” for more than a year in the wake of co-directing “Book of Eli” with brother Allen Hughes. A WME rep said Thursday that Albert Hughes had departed from project.

Studio recruited Steve Kloves, best known for adapting seven of the eight “Harry Potter” films for Warner Bros., to polish the “Akira” script in February. Warner acquired the “Akira” rights three years ago from publisher Kodansha and set it up with Andrew Lazar’s Mad Chance with Appian Way’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran. Hughes and his brother, Allen Hughes. will also produce.

“Akira” is set in a metropolis that was rebuilt after being destroyed decades earlier by Akira, a child with immense psychic powers. Otomo wrote and directed the popular 1988 Japanese anime film of the same name, and he’ll exec produce WB’s “Akira.”

Earlier versions of the “Akira” script were penned by Albert Torres, with earlier drafts by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby and Gary Whitta.

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