Although the actor has left the role vacant, Warner Bros. Pictures insists that the production of the film will not be shut down.
Keanu Reeves will not take the lead role in forthcoming Warner Bros. Pictures film, "Akira". JoBlo reports that the star of "The Matrix Reloaded" has passed on the role of Kaneda.
The site also learns that Warner Bros. Pictures has fired much of a pre-visualization department and most of the staff working on the film. However, the studio insists that the production of the film will move on.
"Production on 'Akira' has not halted or been shut down, as the film has not yet been greenlit and is still very much in the development stage," an excerpt of a press release from the studio read. "The exploratory process is crucial to a project of this magnitude, and we will continue to sculpt our approach to making the best possible film."
Director Albert Hughes is still attached to the project, apparently trying to get another A-list actor to replace Reeves. Meanwhile, Steve Kloves, who also serves as "Harry Potter" screenwriter, has been brought in to rewrite the script and help the studio decrease the $140-million-amount budget.
"Akira" is based on Katsuhiro Otomo's graphic novel set in a metropolis that was rebuilt after being destroyed decades earlier by Akira, a child with immense psychic powers. It follows Shotaro Kaneda, the young leader of a motorcycle gang called The Capsules, who has to lead the charge against his very best friend Tetsuo who is unhinged by his destructive telepathic abilities.