Akira Live-Action Remake Might No Longer Be Made By Taika Waititi
Will Akira ever happen?
The live-action remake of the manga and anime classic Akira has been in various stages of development over the past decade, but it doesn't seem to be getting any closer to happening. Most recently, Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi has been attached to write and direct the movie. But in a new interview, Waititi suggests that the movie is likely to be made without him.
Speaking to Variety, Waititi explained that delays to Akira meant that it ended up potentially clashing with work on his upcoming Marvel sequel, Thor: Love and Thunder. "The whole thing went on hold," he said. "We had to keep pushing the dates, and it encroached on the Thor dates, which were immovable. So Akira ended up shifting two years down the track."
Waititi went on to say that Akira was now so far off that he no longer knew if he would be still be involved. "So I'm not sure if even in two years I'd be--I don’t know what I'm doing in f***ing two days," he said. "I think eventually it will happen. I'm just not sure if I'll be doing it."
Waititi was first attached to the Akira remake in September 2017, and last year, the movie was given a May 2021 release date. At the time, Waititi spoke about his intentions for it. "What I want to do is an adaptation of the books," he said. "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.' There are six gigantic books to go through. It's so rich."
If Waititi does leave Akira, he will be yet another high-profile director to exit the project. Other filmmakers who have been attached over the years have included David Sandberg (Shazam), Daniel Espinosa (the upcoming Morbius), Justin Lin (F9), George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road), and Jaume Collet-Serra (The Shallows). In 2012, the film actually reached the pre-production stage before the Vancouver productions offices were shut down by Warner.
The manga of Akira ran between 1982 and 1990 and is widely credited for popularising Japanese comic books internationally. Equally, the success of the 1989 movie version did much to introduce Western viewers to anime and is now considered one of the finest sci-fi films ever made.
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