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Why Jordan Peele May Not Direct ‘Akira’ After All

Director’s “Get Out” was a smash hit for Universal and Blumhouse, grossing $214 million worldwide

“Get Out” director Jordan Peele says he likely won’t be directing the “Akira” remake for a simple reason — because he wants to keep developing original stories.

“I think [I could do it] if the story justifies it,” Peele told Blumhouse.com. “‘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.”

In March, it was reported that Peele was in early talks to direct Warner Bros.’ adaptation of the manga classic “Akira.” Peele’s addition would have ended the 15-year development stagnation that the project has been stuck in since Warner Bros. bought the rights to adapt Katsuhiro Otomo’s 80s manga series back in 2002.

“Star Trek Beyond” director Justin Lin is among the talent previously approached by the studio, that decided to ultimately back out.

“Akira” takes place in a dystopian near-future in a city called Neo-Tokyo, which was built after the old Tokyo was destroyed by a psychic attack. Enter a pair of teenage bikers, Tetsuo and Kaneda, who become the top target of the government when Tetsuo suddenly develops psychic powers. Soon, the bikers are on the run not just from the government, but from Akira, the powerful psychic behind the first psychic explosion that destroyed Tokyo.

Earlier this month, Peele signed a first-look deal with Universal after his success with “Get Out.” Under the new deal, Universal will release Peele’s next film, an untitled social thriller, which he will write, direct and produce.

“Get Out” was a smash hit for Universal and Blumhouse, grossing $214 million worldwide and becoming the highest-grossing movie made by a black writer-director in his debut feature. The film received near universal acclaim from critics and audiences for weaving social themes and horror tropes together.

Will there be another “Get Out?”

“Look, I feel like there’s much more depth to the world [of ‘Get Out’],” Peele added. “I would only deliver the audience a sequel if I felt like I was going to beat the original. So you know, I’m on the case. I’m on the case.”