It looks like the live-action adaption of Akira may have found its director. The project has been trying to get off the ground for years. A live action adaption of Akira, based on Katsuhiro Otomo’s six-volume manga.The goal was to make two films, each one covering the events of three of the books. Ever since Warner Brothers acquired the rights to the manga years ago – for a seven figure sum – they have been trying to get this movie made with the right director and cast. But years have gone by without results.
Akira, which was adapted into a popular anime film in the late 1980s, tells the story of Shōtarō Kaneda, the leader of a biker gang who tries to help his friend Tetsuo Shima, after Shima is experimented on after an accident leaves him both injured and with super powers. The film told the main story from the manga, but left out many of the side plots and details.
Waititi – who hails from New Zeland – previously wrote and directed What We Do in the Shadows as well as several episodes of Flight of the Conchords. In addition to being a director, he is also a produce and actor who often has cameos and small roles in his own films. His next directing job after Thor: Ragnarok is a World War II film for Fox called Jojo’s Rabbit.
Waititi is the latest of a number of directors who have been considered to helm the adaption, a few names which have popped up in the last couple of years include Jordan Peele, Christopher Nolan, and George Miller. Numerous big name actors have also been attached to or rumored for the project. Including Kristen Stewart, Chris Evans, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman, and Ken Wantanabe. The movie is produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson through Appian Way and also by Mad Chance’s Lazar.
Something interesting to consider is that the story is originally set in 2019. Since the manga and anime are both from the 80s, that was a good thirty years in the future. But now that the movie might not be made until 2019, or even later, it’s likely that another date in the future will be chosen for the story to take place in.
Perhaps if Waititi accepts the job, Akira will emerge from the development limbo it has been trapped in for years and the film will finally happen.
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