With Thor: Ragnarok just a month and a half away and the buzz building to a deafening roar, it certainly looks like Taika Waititi has proven himself capable of making the jump to Hollywood blockbusters. He’s a long way from the quirky indie comedies that he was making back in New Zealand, but it seems like he is intent on staying in studio tentpole territory… at least some of the time anyway. He is attached to direct a smaller WWII dramedy called Jojo Rabbit for Fox Searchlight but now this week we are hearing that Waititi is in the process of locking down his next big budget FX-heavy project: a live-action version of the seminal anime and manga series Akira. Hit the jump for more details.
According to Deadline, Warner Brothers are finally reviving their long-gestating Akira movie with Taika Waititi in negotiations to direct. Back in March, we heard that the studio was considering Daniel Espinosa (Life) and David Sandberg (Lights Out) for the job with Jordan Peele (Get Out) also rumoured as a possibility. The plan is to make two movies based on Katsuhiro Otomo’s six-volume graphic novel.
A live-action Akira movie has been in development since the early 2000s, having gone through an endless list of possible directors including Stephen Norrington, Ruairi Robinson, The Hughes Brothers and Jaume Collet-Serra. Leonardo DiCaprio was initially rumoured to star but he is still producing through his Appian Way company. Most recently, the cast was set to include Dane DeHaan, Michael Pitt, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart and potentially Ken Watanabe and Helena Bonham Carter. Those deals all lapsed and now they are believed to be starting from scratch. Do you think Taika Waititi can pull off a live-action Akira movie?