‘Tis the season for live-action Hollywood manga movies. Ghost in the Shell, Paramount’s super-sleek cyberpunk actioner that places Scarlett Johansson in the boots of The Major, is teetering on the edge of release, while there’s also Death Note and Robert Rodriguez’s Alita: Battle Angel to look forward to in the not-so-distant future.
So far, so familiar. But if there’s one live-action adaptation that has slipped into the bowels of development hell, it’s Akira. Katsuhiro Otomo’s decorated sci-fi flick of ’88, one based on his own eponymous manga, is among the most popular anime films in history, and is often celebrated as a landmark achievement in the world of Japanese animation. It’s no wonder Hollywood has tried to bring over the Capsules on to these shores ever since. Warner Bros. took control of the project more than a decade ago, and since then, the story of WB’s live-action Akira movie has been one of false starts and disheartening delays, culminating in the moment when the studio shut down production in 2012 just as filming was about to get underway.
Fast forward to 2015 and Akira began to flicker into life once more, this time with George Miller and Star Trek Beyond‘s Justin Lin in the running to direct. Neither has officially closed a deal to helm the troubled manga movie, but The Tracking Board now reports that Jordan Peele of Get Out fame has come into contention. News that Peele is reportedly in the mix comes just days after we revealed that Daniel Espinosa (Life) and David Sandberg (Lights Out) were also being eyed by Warner Bros., so we’re intrigued to see how this one shakes out.
Buoyed by the blistering success of Get Out, Jordan Peele is arguably the candidate most likely to land the Akira gig. His ability to infuse racial themes into his films could work in Warner’s favor, particularly when you consider the criticism levelled at Ghost in the Shell and, more recently, Death Note for their questionable casting choices.
Source: The Tracking Board