Director Jordan Peele is in a very interesting position at the moment. He managed to take a small independent production and turn it into what might be the most profitable movie of the year. That kind of clout comes with many opportunities to make bigger productions. We saw something similar happen to Josh Trank who followed up with directorial debut Chronicle by getting the reigns of Fantastic Four (which did not work out well unfortunately).
That type of jump from independent filmmaker making an original property to taking on a tent pole franchise is a step some people just don’t want to take. When talking to Blumhouse Peele explained why he decided to turn down Akira despite being a fan of the original.
“I think [I could do it] if the story justifies it,” Peele said. “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.”
The success of Get Out puts Peele in a position to make more personal and independent movies that many other directors would kill to do. There is a good chance that the studio isn’t going to meddle with a small production of $25 million and let Peele do what he wants. That doesn’t happen and Peele seems to realize that he’s in a position that many creatives will never see in their lifetime.
Perhaps he’ll decide to take on a superhero movie or some huge blockbuster in the future but, right now, he has the opportunity to do what he wants with a studio that will likely give him the means to do so. If it means the Akira movie doesn’t get Peele but we get more movies as good as Get Out? Sounds like a great trade off to me.