Warner Bros. continues to push the boulder of a live-action “Akira” remake up a hill, even if it seems the project keeps rolling back down. The film was close to shooting in 2012, but the studio shut down production just before filming was going to start, and ever since then news about the project has come in fits and starts, but without anything gaining solid momentum. But it appears there’s now a more concerted effort being made. Last week it was reported that Daniel Espinosa (“Life”) and David Sandberg (“Lights Out”) were in the running to direct “Akira” and now a third name has popped up.
Jordan Peele, currently riding high off the hugely successful horror smash “Get Out,” is said be in discussions with the studio for the movie. It would mark a huge leap for the emerging filmmaker, going from the $4.5 million budget of his debut to something easily more sizable, but no doubt he’s shown he’s got considerable moviemaking skills. For the studio, hiring Peele, who has long made racial themes part of his work, could be a way to navigate a film that will come under intense scrutiny about its casting process (back in the day, quite an uproar was made about the young, white actors — Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund, and more — who were courted for the leading roles).
Of course, the question is whether or not Peele wants the gig. He’s in a unique position where he could easily get one of his own scripts made, and has already said he’s got four more “social thrillers” he’d like to tackle. However, “Akira” is nonetheless a unique opportunity that might be hard to resist. Thoughts? Let us know below. [The Tracking Board]