Hot off his success with the thriller Get Out, Jordan Peele is the latest director to be rumored to be in consideration to direct Warner Brothers’ long in development live-action Akira film.
The Tracking Board‘s Jeff Snieder is reporting from this week’s Cinema Con in Las Vegas that “insiders [are] saying the studio is moving aggressively to lock in Jordan Peele to direct” the adaption of the classic 1988 anime. This comes on the heels of Snieder reporting last week that Daniel Espinosa and David F. Sandberg were being looked at by the studio for the gig.
Picking Peele could also be a good PR move for Warners. The studio is currently under some fire for what some view as “whitewashing” their live action remake of the Japanese anime Ghost In The Shell with the casting of Scarlett Johannson.
But Peele wouldn’t be the first African-American considered fort the film. Albert Hughes was the first director on the project, but his take was in the very pricey neighborhood of $180 million. When Warners balked, Hughes walked. Director Jaume Collet-Sera was brought on and managed to cut the proposed budget in half down to $90 million. But even with Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart set to headline the cast, the studio still had cold feet and pulled the plug in early 2012 when Collet-Sera couldn’t get the budget down into the $60-$70 million range.
With Get Out‘s box office climbing past $150 million against just a $5 million budget, Peele has some serious heat on him right now. Will he continue to follow his muse and originate his next project himself or will he pick a studio-offered project like Akira?