Warner Brothers’ live-action adaptation of Akira has been development hell for the better part of 15 years. Going through numerous directors, the film looked like it would never get out of it. But new reports say Get Out director Jordan Peele may be the person to step in and helm the film.
According to The Tracking Board, insiders say that WB is “moving aggressively” towards inking a deal with Peele to direct the film. This coming off Get Out, which was his directorial debut. Apparently, the studio was thinking about having Peele direct The Flash, but Akira is a top priority for the studio, and it looks like discussions between the two have been “encouraging.” More on the story below.
Neither Peele nor WB would comment on the talk.
Leonardo DiCaprio‘s Appian Way is still attached to produce, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the project has been difficult to get off the ground. Not to mention how it has been embroiled with racial controversies, namely whitewashing. While Marco Ramirez (Netflixâ€™s Daredevil) penned the latest draft of the script, it is expected that Peele would write the script himself should he sign on to direct.
Other names that have been in consideration include Daniel Espinosa (Life), David Sandberg (Lights Out), and Justin Lin (Fast 5). Even Christopher Nolan was rumored to direct at one point in time. The closest the film came to production was when Jaume Collet-Serra was directing with Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart starring. However, the film never entered production due to budgetary issues.
Katsuhiro Otomo‘s 1988 anime of the same name has been in a gestating phase since 2002 when WB acquired the project. Set in a dystopian futuristic Tokyo, biker gang leader Shotaro Kaneda must prevent his friend Tetsuo Shima from releasing Akira, a prisoner of the military government, who possesses psychokinetic abilities. While an African American director being behind the lens of is somewhat inspired, the problem with the project could be with its casting.
As much as I love Get Out, Peele depicting the single solitary Asian within a white community was somewhat troubling, as it encapsulates the idea of the model minority – a minority group whose members are perceived to achieve a higher degree of socioeconomic success than the population average. I get the feeling that Peele’s involvement would only help deal with the whitewashing controversy – if there is one that is.
Nothing is set in stone just yet, but it is no surprise that major studios are giving Peele offers to direct big budget films. Get Out grossed over $150 million on a $4.5 million budget. Maybe WB is hoping for the same kind of success. However, the report also says Peele is “unpredictable” and could stick with the “socially-aware” genre because it gives him the creative freedom he wants as opposed to a studio film in which he would have to abide by the rules. However, those in the industry also say he is “ready to make the big-budget leap now.”
[Source: The Tracking Board]