Brad Pitt Has Turned Down AKIRA?

Vulture are reporting that things aren't looking to good for Warner Bros and their adaptation of Akira right now, as this week there's been something of a behind-the-scenes struggle between director Allen Hughes (The Book of Eli, From Hell) and the studio over casting and it didn't end pretty! In the same article as the earlier Mila Kunis / Oz story - it's being reported that Warner Bros were rather ambitiously chasing a huge name to lead their live-action remake of Katsuhiro ”tomo€™s 1988 manga epic as Kaneda - claimed to be Brad Pitt. A casting choice it's said Allen Hughes didn't want (and we can see why, despite Pitt being decades too old for this, he's completely wrong for the part), citing his desire to cast the best man for the role instead of the biggest name. WB were insisting that such an expensive project based on an Asian birthed property that they clearly think the average Joe Popcorn couldn't care less about without a major Western star headlining, would be led by a top, top name - presumably after remembering the very public failure of their anime inspired Speed Racer some years ago. A compromise between director & studio seemed to have been reached earlier in the week as Allen Hughes eventually relented & agreed on the choice of Pitt - IF - he could get his first choice, Mila Kunis, to star as the young female revolutionary Kei but eventually the indecision cost them both thesps. Kunis has gone on to Oz and Brad Pitt turned down WB president Jeff Robinov's official offer on Tuesday. Where does this leave Akira? Well there's a director who clearly is struggling to maintain control of his vision and a studio who have major cold feet over the commercial viability of their expensive tentpole and without a Hollywood star, they might well pull the plug. At this point, we can't see much of a future for the movie at this point, sadly, and we wouldn't be surprised if Hughes was to move on from the film altogether soon.
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.