PAID!Now that director Antoine Fuqua is apparently doing a little time in Director Jail to serve penance for King Arthur, his next project American Gangster (aka Tru Blu, aka The Return of Superfly) has completely crumbled.

Fuqua recently dropped out of the project over the obligatory “creative differences”, and now Universal has yanked the plug on the flick rather than seek a replacement helmer.  Stars Denzel Washington and Benicio Del Toro are only moderately disappointed, as they had pay-or-play deals in place.  Washington already has two directing gigs lined up anyway, while Del Toro plans to stay home and watch The Hunted on DVD and think “What the fuck?!?”.

The flick was to tell the story of a real-life cop (Del Toro) trying to take down a notorious drug dealer (Washington) in 1970s Harlem who imported his heroin in the coffins of soldiers killed in The Nam. The script came from Steve Zaillian ( Hannibal, Schindler’s List), and manga-haired producer Brian Grazer was overseeing the project, which was initially planned for a June 2005 opening.