Thor: Ragnarok Director Is Still Working On Live-Action Akira Movie
"A lot of the people freaking out haven't even read the books."
Last September, it was reported that Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi was the latest director to be attached to Warner's long-delayed live action adaptation of the classic manga and anime Akira. Waititi has now confirmed that he is involved with the project, even if it doesn't sound like he's gotten very far with it.
Waititi was asked about Akira in a recent interview with Dazed, and while he did not confirm that would direct it, he did speak about his intentions for the project. "I haven't really started to get my head around it yet," he admitted. "What I want to do is an adaptation of the books, 'cause 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 Akira is one of my favourite films. My mum took me to see it when I was 13 and it changed my life."
Waititi is the latest in a long line of filmmakers to be linked to the Akira remake. In March last year, it was reported that David Sandberg (Light's Out) and Daniel Espinosa (Life) were under consideration to direct. Prior to that, Star Trek Beyond's Justin Lin was in talks, while Mad Mad director George Miller previously revealed that he was also approached by the studio.
In 2015, it was rumored that a trilogy was being planned, with Christopher Nolan involved at some level. Before that, The Shallows director Jaume Collet-Serra was attached--click here to see some concept art of this version. Last year, a report in Deadline stated that a trilogy is still part of Warner's plan for Akira.
In 2012, the film actually reached the pre-production stage before the Vancouver productions offices were shut down by the studio.
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.