In the age of remakes, reboots, and sequels, it’s easy to see Taika Waititi’s upcoming Akira film as just another remake. Furthermore, it’s a remake of a classic anime film that really put the medium on the map for mainstream American audiences.
But, as Waititi has stated in the past, this isn’t going to be a remake of that film. What a lot of people forget is that the film itself was based on the then-running manga series of the same name, which spans six sprawling volumes. Speaking with Dazed, Waititi gave an update on the project, again stressing how the film won’t be cut from the same cloth of as the anime.
“I haven’t really started to get my head around it yet. What I wanted to do was an adaptation of the books, ’cos 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 (the anime) Akira is one of my favourite films; my mum took me to see it when I was 13 and it changed my life.”
So, from the sound of it, it looks like they’re still quite a ways from getting things done. To call the stage they’re in “early development” almost sounds like it’s still too far along for the stage they’re at. As we know, the filmmaker is headed off to Prague to shoot his Nazi comedy, so I’d be surprised if he’s even figured out how to tackle the film.
But, from what we’ve heard, in terms of both casting and tackling the source material, I think Waititi’s got the right idea. The only potential concern I have is him adding just a little bit too much comedy in the process of adapting.
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