Taika Waititi’s Akira Movie Reportedly Gets Surprising Development Update

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Taika Waititi’s live-action Akira movie has reportedly gotten a surprise update after years of languishing in the development pipeline. Set to be based on Katsuhiro Otomo’s 1982 manga series and the subsequent 1988 anime film of the same name, Waititi was first attached to the project as far back as 2017, following his time on Thor: Ragnarok for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Initially intended to be released in May 2021, the project was pushed back to allow Waititi time to work on the MCU sequel Thor: Love and Thunder, and was later removed from the Warner Bros. release schedule altogether.

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Now, a surprising update from senior Deadline reporter Justin Kroll suggests Waititi has never left the project, and a script is reportedly due into the studio shortly.

Taking to Twitter to suggest that his Akira film will likely be his next movie, the reporter also clarifies the project would still need to go through all the regular approval processes. This latest update comes of the back of questions being raised about the progress of Waititi’s previously announced Star Wars film.


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The Long Road To A Live-Action Akira Movie

An image of a man riding a motorcycle in Akira

While Waititi’s attempt at bringing Akira to life has been fraught with its own share of setbacks and difficulties, those delays are but a fraction of those experienced by Warner Bros., which has been trying to make the film for well over two decades. Even before the studio bought the rights to adapt the property back in 2002, Sony Pictures had originally intended to try their own hand at a live-action Akira adaptation in the 1990s. Unfortunately, the project later stalled due to budgetary issues and would never be revived under their purview.

When Warner Bros. later stepped in to take control of the property, they tapped original Blade director Stephen Norrington to helm the film using a script penned by The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen scribe James Robinson. Reportedly set to have made significant changes to the source material, Norrington’s version would have seen the central characters Kaneda and Tetsuo turned into brothers instead of friends. However, before production could begin, Norrington stepped away from the project, marking the first in a long line of changing faces.

In the years to follow, several directors and writers have all been attached to an Akira movie at one point or another, including Rogue One: A Star Wars Story scribe Gary Whitta and Black Adam director Jaume Collet-Serra. The list of potential filmmakers who also turned down advances from Warner Bros. to helm the film is just a long and includes the likes of Mad Max: Fury Road’s George Miller and Nope’s Jordan Peele. With any luck, this latest update concerning Waititi’s involvement may just indicate a significant turnaround in Akira’s long and troubled road to production.

Source: Justin Kroll/Twitter



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