THOR: RAGNAROK Director Taika Waititi Confirms His Live-Action AKIRA Project Is Still In Development

THOR: RAGNAROK Director Taika Waititi Confirms His Live-Action AKIRA Project Is Still In Development

The current director attached to the long-gestating Akira adaptation is THOR: Ragnarok's Taika Waititi, in a recent interview he reveals just how far along in development the project is. Check it out...

By FromACertainPOV - Apr 09, 2018 12:04 PM EST
Filed Under: Akira
Source: Dazed
Since 2002 there have been multiple attempts to adapt Katsuhiro Otomo's manga and subsequent anime, Akira as a live-action feature film. At various stages, the project had names like George Miller, Christopher Nolan and Jaume Collet-Serra attached, all radically different takes on the material and all of whom eventually left the project due to creative differences with Warner Bros. 

The most recent person to undertake this endeavor is The Hunt for the Wilderpeople writer and director Taika Waititi, who signed on last September. Waititi made it clear from the off that he would keep the ethnicity of the characters intact, a statement that was praised by many following the white-washing of similar properties like Ghost in the Shell and Death Note, as well as the previous attempted versions of the adaptation. 

Short of this, however, very little has been revealed about his version of the film. In a recent interview with Dazed, Waititi revealed this is because he's very early in development but he also spoke about adapting the manga, not the anime and just how much the property means to him:

I haven’t really started to get my head around it yet. What I wanted to do was an adaptation of the books, ’cos a lot of people are like, ‘Don’t touch that film!’ and I’m like, ‘I’m not remaking the film, I want to go back to the book.’ A lot of the people freaking out haven’t even read the books, and there are six gigantic books to go through. It’s so rich. But (the anime) Akira is one of my favourite films; my mum took me to see it when I was 13 and it changed my life.

What do you think? Are you glad that Waititi is adapting the manga and not the anime? Do you think he's the right man for the job? What are you looking forward to seeing in the adaptation? Leave your thoughts below.
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ODanil - 4/9/2018, 12:43 PM
I wasn't sure, but after Ragnarok, I think he's PERFECT for Akira.
Moochoman - 4/9/2018, 12:44 PM
Hopefully it is better than Ragnarok. I know a lot of people loved it, but I did not like it at all.
bbting - 4/9/2018, 12:45 PM
@Moochoman -
regularmovieguy - 4/9/2018, 12:54 PM

I loved Ragnarok but I can also see why some might’ve been disappointed given the tone of the story.
ThunderThighs - 4/9/2018, 1:44 PM
@Moochoman - Tbh, Ragnarok is the reason I'll give his Akira a pass. The original anime is too good to be re-made by him.
Kumkani - 4/9/2018, 12:45 PM
Watched Akira for the first time a few months back. Really disturbing stuff, shockingly violent, but pretty funny too.

Loved the art style of it. Hoping Taika crushes it.
Ha1frican - 4/9/2018, 12:48 PM
No thank you. I like him but don’t think he fits this.
NinnesMBC - 4/9/2018, 12:50 PM
If he is going to make a satire out of it just like he does it with everything then no.

Better find an actual Japanese director for this job.
SecretWarrior - 4/9/2018, 1:00 PM
A- kir - rah!

A -kir - RAH!


That name drop in the movie used to fascinate me as a kid. Who was this guy? Why is he such a big deal? And then to see it was a kid younger than me? MIND BLOWN!
GhostDog - 4/9/2018, 1:07 PM
There must be something abiut HIS TAKE that really grabbed WB because he doesnt seem like a viable first choice...or third...or fifth.

My top choices are Bong Joon-Ho and Takashi Miike.

I like the guy, but this seems odd.

His take must be wild.
Oskir - 4/9/2018, 1:08 PM
Don't hurt me but I don't really like the movie Akira...

But I love the books so much!!!!
GhostDog - 4/9/2018, 1:13 PM
@Oskir - unpopular opinion: books are better.

I finally got to reading then about a year and a half ago. Amazing stuff.
Oskir - 4/9/2018, 2:07 PM
@BlackBeltJones - They should have made an anime tv show. The books go in so much direction and different vibes (science fiction, polar, action, western, ...)

So even if I love Taika Waititi I dont really see how it could be really good with just one movie. But wait and see
obarium - 4/9/2018, 1:29 PM
I know very little about Akira, bit's and pieces here and there picked up through pop culture, so I don't know if Taika's sense of humour will align with the source material. Though saying that, he might hold Akira with a different sort of reverence than he did Thor when making that pitch so the two films could be very different in terms of tone.

I will say that Taika is very vocal about the fates of indigenous peoples (Maori, Aborigines, etc), so I feel quite confident (unless WB throw some weight around) that the film won't be whitewashed.
BrettMan - 4/9/2018, 9:39 PM
@obarium - Regarding race, my take on Akira was that it takes place in a world where Japan takes the place of America as a kind of global melting pot, where Japanese people would be in the majority, but it wouldn't be out of place to see all kinds of other races there, too. I also think it'd make sense, story-wise, if Kaneda's gang were all Japanese except Tetsuo, who would be half-Japanese and half-literally anything else, which would kind of lead into his role as the group's odd man out. I dunno though, just my two cents.
obarium - 4/10/2018, 2:03 AM
@BrettMan - Cool, thanks man. I know very little about the story or characters, I just don't want another Ghost in the Shell... for a few reasons.
HannibalLecter - 4/9/2018, 1:43 PM
I'm glad they gave the job to Taika, now that Hollywood is running out of CBMs to adapt they need to start doing movies based on animes the right way.
ThunderThighs - 4/9/2018, 1:47 PM
The man who basically turned the most epic Thor-storyline into a Jem and the Holograms live action movie is supposed to turn Akira into live action?
No, thank you
Odin - 4/9/2018, 2:01 PM
Well, considering how great Thor Ragnarok was and that Taika has already said he won't whitewash, I dare to be optimistic.

Even though all evidence to contrary, I think that a good live-action adaption of anime might be possible. How about Hellsing Ultimate done by Robert Rodriquez. That is like one anime that even the most impenitent studio executive can't whitewash.
bobevanz - 4/9/2018, 2:42 PM
Adapting the books? Color me intrigued! But yes, dont you dare try to adapt the film!
TheRealTomServo - 4/9/2018, 4:18 PM
akira is my favorite animated film, beating out anomalisa and fritz the cat in a close race.

even still, i’m curious to see what waititi can do with a property so opposite to his own brand of filmmaking.

might it work? who knows. but i love waititi as much as i love akira, so i’d give it a chance. if it sucks, i still have the old version to go back to. y’all see something controversial like this and act like it’s the end of the world. it isn’t. the old akira books and flick aren’t gonna up and vanish if waititi makes a movie you don’t like.
LEOSTRATOR - 4/9/2018, 7:44 PM
No please, plus I want a manga adaption not the anime.
BrettMan - 4/9/2018, 9:34 PM
@LEOSTRATOR - The quote literally says he's doing a manga adaptation.
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