Akira: Taika Waititi Confirms Talks, Says He Would Not Whitewash Film

Not too long ago, there were rumors surrounding Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi potentially directing a live-action Akira film.

Speaking with IGN, Waititi confirmed the talks, but was wary about actually saying anything definitive:

“I am — that was more or less a rumor. 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 actually love the books. Love the movie, but I would not do a remake of the movie. I would do an adaptation of the books. And, yeah, so anyway there’s been some chats [about him directing it].”

For someone like me who hated the film but loved the manga, this is music to my ears. While the film had great animation and interesting ideas, it ended up being far too abstract for my taste. The manga, however, with its longer length, actually allowed the story to play out in a more tangible fashion. So hearing that he’ll be pulling from that source instead of the anime is comforting.

Of course, anime and manga fans have been burned several times. Between Dragon Ball Evolution and Ghost in the Shell (and to a lesser extent, Death Note), fans have gotten sick of seeing Hollywood try to whitewash the film. Akira is a film that’s been in development for years, and whenever discussions come up, it’s usually with a white actor’s name attached. However, Waititi’s own vision is much closer to the original in terms of its cast.

“Yeah. actually Asian teenagers would be the way to do it for me and probably no, not, like no name, I mean sort of unfound, untapped talent. Yeah, I’d probably want to take it a bit back more towards the books.”

What do you think? Does Waititi have the right idea? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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Joseph Jammer Medina

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and contributor at LRM Online. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.

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