When it was announced Taika Waititi would be returning to the Thor franchise on Tuesday, it came with a bittersweet condition: the director would also be placing his work on the live-action remake of Akira on hold in order to do so. Those excited to see the filmmaker’s take on the anime classic are understandably bummed but… now it’s time to add confused to those range of emotions as well.
A new casting call for Akira was published in the July 18 issue of Production Weekly, two days after Warner Bros reportedly placed the film on hold. Is it’s inclusion in the trade magazine a leftover remnant of the production’s plan to finally get the project off the ground with Taika Waititi before news of his work on Thor 4 was announced or a sign of the movie still moving forward?
It’s too early to do much more than speculate about this Akira detail, but Warner Bros was apparently taken aback by Taika Waititi’s decision to drop the project, so plans for casting may have already been in the works before it was shelved by the studio. The report also stated that Warner Bros would hope to work with Waititi on Akira after Thor 4 was finished with production.
On the other hand, it was also said that the Ragnarok director had some creative differences with the studio regarding the project. He’d been attached to the film for two years and Warner Bros had already delayed production for Taika Waititi to seek out “untapped talent” consisting of young Japanese actors to better represent the source material.
Perhaps following his exit, Warner Bros has decided to quietly move forward with Akira with another director in mind? After all, the project has been in and out of development for the better of a decade at the studio with no luck.
Taika Waititi and Always Be My Maybe writer Michael Golamco were attached to the most recent script, and the plan for that draft are still unclear. The film was reportedly to start production in August ahead of its May 2021 release date. With Akira this far in development toward production “on hold” may not be the whole picture.
Anime adaptations seem to be a Hollywood trend currently being exploring with recent releases of Death Note, Ghost in the Shell, Alita: Battle Angel and Detective Pikachu. There is also a Cowboy Bebop television series starring John Cho in the works, Death Note 2, and a live-action Gundam and Your Name.
Only time will tell the fate of the live-action Akira. Until then, Marvel fans can rejoice over the Thor: Ragnarok director reteaming up with Marvel Studios to continue the Asguardian storyline and hopefully reprising the hilarious role of Korg.
Since it’s Comic-Con week, look out for potential Marvel announcements on Saturday when the studio returns to Hall H!