Ah, the live-action Akira remake. Although it seems as though people will be reporting on potential stars and directors for this film long after we all die, there is still a chance that it could actually get made. Warner Bros certainly wants it to, and the rumour is that they’ve got their eye on a new director.
The Tracking Board reports that the studio “is moving aggressively to lock in” Jordan Peele, who is riding the wave of Get Out‘s incredible and much deserved success. This is all rumours and what-not from “insiders” at Cinema-Con, and none of it has been confirmed, but according to the site, “the talks have apparently been encouraging.”
Well. While we are naturally sceptical about both the idea of the Akira remake ever being made and the chances of it being good if it were to be made, we are huge fans of Peele and Get Out. Although it was his directorial debut, there was a huge amount of style, confidence and general excellence on display (and it obviously made a huge amount of money for Universal and Blumhouse). There would be a hell of a jump to go from a Blumhouse horror budget and scale to Akira, but we have faith in Peele.
That being said, Katushiro Otomo’s landmark anime film (based on his own manga series) has proven to be notoriously difficult to adapt. There’s the question of the setting (the metropolis of Neo-Tokyo), the budget (ooh, it’d be expensive) and the age rating (hard to imagine Warner Bros committing to the R). Earlier drafts of the script made Kaneda and Tetsuo brothers rather than friends, and that doesn’t work.
The film has been set up with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way production company for some time now, and Daredevil‘s Marco Ramirez Jr wrote the latest draft of the script (although the site notes that Peele would do his own draft if he signs on). Previous directors linked to the film include Jaume Collet-Sera (The Shallows), Justin Lin (Star Trek Beyond), and the studio apparently went after Christopher Nolan and George Miller. Concept art for an abandoned version showed Chris Evans and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the leads, while Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Keanu Reeves, James Franco and Zac Efron have all had their names floated around it from time to time.
Live-action anime remakes are everywhere right now, with Ghost In The Shell hitting cinemas today, Death Note in post-production and Attack On Titan in development. Will Peele go for it? We’ll have to wait and see.
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