The Tracking Board is exclusively reporting that Warner Bros. is looking at Jordan Peele to direct one of their future projects, with Akira currently being discussed.
Akira, created by Katsuhiro Otomo, was released as a manga beginning in the early 80’s before it became well known property as an anime classic in 1988 as the story focuses on 31 years after World War III when an atom bomb vaporised Tokyo, Neo-Tokyo has risen in 2019 and is a city filled with violence and desolation. One night during a rival bike gang fight, one of the members called Tetsuo then has an accident with a small mysterious person leading to a crash and an explosion. This leads to Tetsuo becoming involved in a covert government project called Akira and Kaneda, the bike gang leader and close friend of Tetsuo, sets out on quest to find and save his friend.
Jordan Peele made his directorial debut this year with Get Out which has received universal critical acclaim and so far has made over $156m worldwide at the box office on a film made with a $4.5m budget.
The report from Jeff Sneider here about the exclusive has heard this news through insiders at CinemaCon and also points out that Warner Bros. could still offer Peele the keys to direct their upcoming DC Film The Flash which has seen a few directors leave over the last year or two. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way is producing the US remake along with Andrew Lazar and the most recent draft of the script was penned by Marco Ramirez, though if Jordan Peele does decided to helm the film he could potentially change the script as part of the deal with Warner Bros.
A live-action american adaptation of Akira has been in development for a long time. At one point back in 2011 Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart were in talks to star in the film but never came to fruition. Then in 2015, George Miller admitted that he turned down the opportunity to direct the film, citing that he had too many projects in the pipeline. As for Peele potentially striking a deal to direct I’m fine with that. Personally I would prefer that Peele makes a few more films under the Blumhouse umbrella as they appear to have a great relationship together and he’ll have creative freedom there whereas I’m not so anymore that Warner Bros. even knows what to do with the Akira project.