Taika Waititi Says He Won't Whitewash Live-Action Akira If He Directs


The comic book film studio has a knack for finding talent that has not yet broken out and then gives them the platform to become highly sought after superstars. "And, yeah, so anyway there's been some chats".

Warner Bros. has been developing a live-action movie of the Akira anime for years now, but Waititi said he's not interested in remaking that classic movie.

Taika Waititi's next directorial project is expected to be the World War II dramedy Jojo Rabbit, which reportedly begins filming next spring.

What's interesting is that Waititi would actually be aiming to adapt writer/illustrator Katsuhiro Otomo's manga instead of the acclaimed 1988 anime he directed.

The New Zealand filmmaker, famous for his work on What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt For the Wilderpeople, spoke to IGN recently about the dormant property, which once had its crosshairs on Jordan Peele (Get Out) before the director ultimately passed to double down on original projects.

For now, the director seems to be keeping his options open regarding the movie, and since Thor: Ragnarok looks set to be a huge hit, he'll have no shortage of career options. Don't expect him to make the same mistake, should he get the gig. Love the movie, but I would not do a remake of the movie. I would do an adaptation of the books...

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This actually makes the most sense, despite the fact that the anime is probably more well known internationally. Otomo's manga was well-adapted in the anime, but the six volumes allowed for a longer timeline and more subplots and characters throughout the story. Waititi said as much, and more, during an interview with IGN.

Maintaining fidelity with the narrative isn't the only thing Waitii is after though.

Back in 2011, several white actors - including Kristen Stewart, Dane DeHaan, and Garrett Hedlund - had been attached to star in an incarnation of a live-action Akira movie that eventually fell apart.

In terms of casting, Taiki Waititi vowed to recruit Asian talent for the lead roles, given the chance. "There was, I mean, I was in talks to do that, for sure, and something that I was very passionate about-am passionate about".

I am - that was more or less a rumor. But it's hard to argue with the potential of Waititi as a directing pick here.