Fans of the cult classic anime/manga Akira (created, written, and directed by Katsuhiro Otomo in 1988) have been wondering for quite some time whether a live-action adaptation from Hollywood would finally be put into production – and the latest word from previously sought Akira director Jordan Peele has the breakout filmmaker of Get Out explaining why he passed on the blockbuster project. Despite the fact that the original manga series and film enjoy a continued cult following (going on some thirty-plus years now), movement on a feature length live-action adaption in Hollywood has remained slow at best.
Further complicated by the controversial reception and disappointing box office returns for this year’s anime-turned-tentpole Ghost in the Shell, the road to a live-action adaptation of Otomo’s Akira is one paved with set backs. Despite courting several prominent filmmakers in the past – including Lights Out director David Sandberg and Life lead helmer Daniel Espinosa – there has been little definitive movement in terms of moving an Akira remake forward, and Peele is the latest filmmaker to explain why he passed on the prospective project.
In a recent interview with Blumhouse, Peele spoke to his prior courtship of the much talked about live-action adaptation of Otomo’s cult-classic Akira film property, and took special care to address why he intends to move away from the project in favor of pursuing his own original ideas with Blumhouse Productions. Speaking to what he thinks would be required from the director of a live-action Akira – in addition to his own love for the original anime and manga – Peele stated:
“I think [I could do it] if the story justifies it. Akira is one of my favorite movies, and I think obviously the story justifies as big a budget as you can possibly dream of. But the real question for me is: Do I want to do pre-existing material, or do I want to do original content? At the end of the day, I want to do original stuff.”
Fresh off the success of his directorial debut on the horror/thriller Get Out from earlier this year, Peele is definitely not struggling in terms of finding a creative direction for himself – with another original thriller already on the way. Unfortunately for fans of Akira and the former Key & Peele sketch comedy showrunner and performer, the two parties will not be joining forces any time in the near future.
It would have been exciting to see someone who so obviously holds the original Akira property in such high regard attempt to produce a live-action adaptation, but Peele definitely has his hands tied already with other creative endeavors. It remains to be seen who will be courted next to try their hand at updating Otomo’s cult-classic anime for contemporary audiences, so here’s to hoping for the best for fans of the original 1988 film.
Screen Rant will keep you updated with any information related to the live-action adaptation of Akira.