Jordan Peele in the Running to Direct Warner Bros.’ Live-Action ‘Akira’
Life was good for Jordan Peele — star of a massively successful sketch comedy show, a nice little recurring role on FX’s Fargo, and he’s married to Chelsea Peretti, one of the coolest, funniest women currently working. Then he sprung his directorial debut Get Out on an unsuspecting America and everything rocketed to the next level. The massive windfall he conjured with a paltry $4.5 million budget blew open the gates of Hollywood for him, and like all novice filmmakers, a high-profile sophomore feature can’t be far off. Today brings the news as to what that next step might be, and it appears that Warner Bros. has big plans for Peele.
The studio has been struggling to get a live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo's seminal anime Akira off the ground for years, but with the Ghost in the Shell remake now poised to do big business this weekend, Warner Bros. has redoubled their efforts to corral a creative team. Last week word got out that they were looking at Life director Daniel Espinosa and Lights Out’s David Sandberg for the gig, but today The Tracking Board has the exclusive report that Peele has also found his way onto the shortlist. Though development on this project will most likely stagnate in the event that Ghost in the Shell eats it this weekend, Peele’s skill with racial commentary could do a lot to mitigate the objectionable aspects of Americanizing an Asian creative property in the first place.
The original Akira follows psychic teen biker Tetsuo Shima through the futuristic cyberpunk Tokyo of 2019. His special powers place him at the heart of a great battle between fascist overlords and the underground rebel resistance, though that description fails to account for all the mind-knotting metaphysics and sumptuous visuals. Peele or not, “psychic teen cyberpunk biker” should be a pretty hard concept to mess up.