TWO major sci-fi blockbuste​rs lose their directors

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Dec 14, 2012, 4:51 PM EST

Not one but TWO major sci-fi film projects have said goodbye to their directors today, and at least one of those projects may be all but dead.

First came the news from Deadline that director Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli) was leaving the Warner Bros. live-action adaptation of the Japanese manga classic Akira. "Amicable creative differences" is the official reason given for Hughes' exit, but with Keanu Reeves also bailing on the project not long ago, it's not hard to speculate that Hughes was not happy with the direction the thing was taking.

The studio reportedly intends to keep the project alive and find a new director as well as a new lead, although without a star as big as Reeves the budget might have to be pulled back considerably. But if a director, star and budget are not figured out soon, it's quite possible that Akira will end up on the scrap heap—which fans of the original 1988 anime version would not necessarily mourn.

Meanwhile, Variety has reported that director David O. Russell (The Fighter) has left Sony Pictures' adaptation of the PlayStation 3 videogame, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. Creative differences were again cited as the reason here, despite the fact that Russell has been on the project for months and seemed excited about it. As with Warner Bros. and Akira, Sony will continue to "aggressively develop" the film, although rumored stars Mark Wahlberg, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci will probably abandon it as well.

Should these projects keep moving forward, or does all this turnover indicate that they're just bad ideas to begin with?