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Shortly after the incredibly successful box office launch of his directorial debut earlier this year, Jordan Peele quickly found himself facing a potential avenue into the world of blockbuster filmmaking. Reports spread around the Get Out filmmaker was considering taking a job as the helmer of Akira -- the live-action manga adaptation that has been in development for years -- and it was perceived by many as an intriguing choice. Unfortunately, it's not a job that Peele is currently looking to take on. He recently said,
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.
Jordan Peele commented on the Akira gig while talking with Blumhouse.com about his future as a director. Given that Get Out has made more than $200 million internationally on a $4.5 million budget, you'd assume that he could make anything he really wanted to make right now -- but it seems that those interests don't extend to either Akira or any other adaptation of a pre-existing work. Right now he wants to focus on projects that come from his own imagination... and that's incredibly exciting.
While it was in late March that Jordan Peele was rumored for the Akira job, there have been firmer revelations since about his upcoming projects working behind the camera. It was officially announced last week that the filmmaker has signed a first-look deal with Universal Pictures that will cover the next two years -- and this news alone cast doubt on the Akira gig simply because that movie is set up over at Warner Bros. He is already developing what will be his next feature, and while details are slim, we do know that it will have a budget five-times the size of Get Out's.
Missing out on the chance to have Jordan Peele behind the camera is another big loss for the live-action Akira remake -- but that's kind of been the project's thing for a few years now. The film has essentially only existed in controversial fits and starts for a decade now, with the internet erupting every time it's been suggested that a white actor -- be it Zac Efron, James Franco, Robert Pattinson, or Garrett Hedlund -- take the lead role. Many different filmmakers, including Allen & Albert Hughes and Jaume Collet-Serra have previously been attached to helm, but obviously they weren't able to get the job done.
With Jordan Peele no longer in the running to direct Akira, that means that the movie is back to existing in limbo... but the filmmaker's future is a lot brighter. Not only does he have the aforementioned feature follow-up in the works, but he is also working on a new HBO series called Lovecraft Country. And for those of you who missed Get Out in theaters, do yourselves a favor and catch up with it on home video. It's now available for digital download, and will be available on Blu-ray and DVD next Tuesday, May 23rd.