For nearly 20 years at this point, Warner Bros. has been trying to get a live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo‘s groundbreaking 1988 anime film ‘Akira’ off the ground. Brad Pitt, Andrew Garfield, Keanu Reeves, Justin Timberlake, Garrett Hedlund and many others have been attached to star over the years, but every time it looked like something could happen, it all fell apart. Most recently, the studio brought on ‘Daredevil’ showrunner Marco J. Ramirez in 2015 to write a new screenplay based on the tale of two brothers from rival biker gangs that are pitted against each other in a post-nuclear apocalypse Neo-Tokyo. Things kept moving as ‘Star Trek Beyond’ director Justin Lin looked as if he would sign on to helm the project shortly after that, but those talks apparently went nowhere and the film stalled again.
Although, there finally appears to be some new movement on the long-gestating movie once more. Rumors surfaced earlier this week that alluded to WB looking at David F. Sandberg (‘Lights Out’) and Daniel Espinosa (‘Life‘,’Safe House’) to direct the film based on Ramirez’s script. However, neither filmmaker seem to actually be the frontrunner for the job anymore based on some new rumors.
According to The Tracking Board, the Warners are “moving aggressively to lock in” ‘Key and Peele’ co-creator Jordan Peele to direct ‘Akira’ following his successful directorial debut ‘Get Out’. They’re apparently also considering him to replace ‘Dope’ director Rick Famuyiwa on the DC Cinematic Universe’s version of ‘The Flash’ starring Ezra Miller. Either way, word is that the talks have been “encouraging” and the hot director may come to some sort of deal with the studio to work on something.
With that being said, Peele’s next project hasn’t been officially set in stone just yet. Previously, it has been said that he’s considering other horror movies featuring “social demons” similar to ‘Get Out’ that have interesting things to say about society and the world around us, which may work out in his favor since he has never directed a big budget blockbuster before let alone one with a based on a pre-existing property like ‘Akira’. Some may also argue that he has perpetuated the idea of a “model minority” with his portrayal of an Asian character siding with the villains of his first film and wouldn’t be able to fully capture the Asian or Asian-American experiences depicted in the story. Then again, if the trend in Hollywood continues as it always has (especially when it comes to this particular film judging by the people who were previously attached as the leads), the whole thing will probably be whitewashed anyway, so that may not even be as much of a concern as Peele’s experience being a factor in creating the scope necessary for a story as big as this one.
Do you think that Jordan Peele would be a good choice to helm the long-awaited live-action adaptation of ‘Akira’? Might his lack of experience as a director be a detriment to the project? Or do you think that he’d offer a fresh take on the internationally acclaimed property that could lead to the American version finally getting released? Share your thoughts and theories in the comments below.