Russell Off ‘Uncharted’ and Hughes Bails On ‘Akira’

This first bit of news doesn’t surprise me in the least as The Wrap reports David O. Russell (The Fighter) will no longer direct the adaptation of the Sony Computer Entertainment videogame Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. He never seemed like a likely choice and I just felt that as soon as he eyed Mark Wahlberg for the lead role and this video surfaced of a fan asking him to cast Nathan Fillion that it was the beginning of the end.

Of course, The Wrap’s Brent Lang makes it sound far more amicable calling it a departure over “a difference in creative direction” which is certainly likely, but this just never seemed like a project Russell was ever going to see through to the end.

The story for Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune centers on a 400-year-old clue in the coffin of Sir Francis Drake setting Nathan Drake, a modern-day fortune hunter on an exploration for the fabled treasure of El Dorado, leading to the discovery of a forgotten island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The search turns deadly when Drake becomes stranded on the island and hunted by mercenaries. Outnumbered and outgunned, Drake and his companions must fight to survive as they begin to unravel the terrible secrets hidden on the Island.

With Russell’s departure I’m not sure if that means Wahlberg will remain attached and there was also talk of Scarlett Johansson, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci taking part. I would assume all of that is over now as Sony now has to search for a new writer and director and this isn’t exactly a group actors likely to hang around waiting to star in a videogame adaptation.

As for what else is on Russell’s slate, there is the Russ Meyer biopic based on the Jimmy McDonough book “Bog Bosoms and Square Jaws: The Biography of Russ Meyer, King of the Sex Film” along with several other projects IMDB details.

Secondly, Deadline reports Albert Hughes has dropped out of directing the Akira live-action adaptation of the Japanese graphic novel for Warner Bros. Of course, once again, this departure is due to “creative differences.”

The film is expected to be a two-parter, with the first arriving in 2013. The film had not yet been cast though it does have a rewritten screenplay by Steve Kloves (The Amazing Spider-Man, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2) that has it ready to go into production. The story is set a rebuilt New Manhattan, where a leader of a biker gang saves his friend from a medical experiment.

Originally, names like Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield, James McAvoy, Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake and Joaquin Phoenix where up for the lead roles of Kaneda and Tetsuo, but then attention was turned to bigger name actors such as Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, James Franco and Keanu Reeves, all of which reportedly turned down the film’s lead role.

Deadline is now reporting Warner Bros. is likely to go back to the list of younger actors with the hope of getting started on the film later this year or early next.

As for Albert Hughes, he still hopes to set up his next project at WB.

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