The big live action version of Ghost In The Shell has arrived in UK Cinemas today and Death Note on Netflix later this year. It’s no surprise another classic Anime is been lined up once again to be adapted into a big live action movie, Akira. According to The Tracking Board, Warner Bros. would love to get the Get Out Director Jordan Peele, bring Akira to the big screen.
Akira was originally created as a manga created by Katsuhiro Otomo in 1982, lasted over 6 volumes 8 years until 1990 for Young Magazine. In a rare move, Otomo directed the Anime version which was released in 1988 (The UK 1991/92). Like Ghost In The Shell Akira is set in a dystopian post-apocalypse Neo-Tokyo in 2019, with the city set to host the Olympic Games. With political corruption, sedition, potential Army Coup, biker gang warfare on the rise we follow the Capsule gang led by Kaneda, whose friend Tetsuo on pursuit crashes. The army takes the injured Tetsuo away only to learn he has psychic powers, powers that danger the city. After crossing paths with terrorist Kei, Kaneda joins together to break out Tetsuo but things escalate when he starts to learn how powerful he is. Endangering humanity with talking of the return of the mythical Akira who’ll destroy everyone.
At one point Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra (Non Stop, Unknown) was the first to be connected to direct with Garret Hedlund and Kristen Stewart to star. Of all the attempts this was the closest version to come close to production, then interest dwindled. More recently in 2015 Mad Max director George Miller was connected by the project clashed with his scheduling. Justin Lin, David F. Sandberg and Daniel Espinosa were also connected at one stage.
According to the report, Jordan Peele seems to be the number one candidate with news from Warner Bros been ‘very encouraging’ on the talks. If he does get the gig, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way will be producing with Andrew Lazar (American Sniper). Marco Ramirez (Daredevil) wrote the first draft of the movie but we wouldn’t count out Peele writing his own script if he directs.
Get Out was an unexpected and critical success and on a budget reportedly to be only $5 million (£3.75 million) bringing $150 million plus. The question is Jordan Peele ready to direct a big blockbuster movie or should he learn his craft with smaller budgeted movies?Josh Trank is a perfect example of a filmmaker who directed Chronicle who went onto to direct the truly awful Fantastic Four remake. A movie that nearly destroyed his directing career.
It would be great seeing Peele direct Akira however so many pitfalls even if he’s proven to handle social commentary (race especially) with great sensitivity. Will this prevent the whitewashing problems Ghost In The Shell and Death Note are currently getting? Possibly. As ever nothing in the source of this report has been officially been confirmed nor denied by the parties involved. With all the problems and the directing revolving door constantly spinning this could change again seeing us back at square one.