Taika Waititi is a busy dude; even discounting his TV and writing work, the New Zealand favorite has put out three movies in the last four years (Hunt For The Wilderpeople, Thor: Ragnarok, and the recent Jojo Rabbit), even as his rising star has attracted ever more projects to his name. Marvel was quick to lock him down for a fourth Thor movie, Love And Thunder, and he’s been attached for years now to a live-action remake of anime classic Akira. Which he’s apparently still committed to directing, eventually—a pretty major departure for how things tend to go with this particular adaptation of an animated favorite.
The story of the live-action Akira is nearly as depressing as the one that goes down between psychic biker teens in Neo Tokyo; Warner Bros. has been trying to get this thing off the ground for the better part of 17 years, cycling though three official directors, and having reportedly offered it to many more besides. (George Miller and Jordan Peele have both turned down this particular poison back-of-jacket pill.) But Waititi is still on board, just as soon as he gets done with that other big-budget blockbuster on his plate.
Here he is talking about Akira with IGN:
Unfortunately, the timing with Akira, because we’ve been working really hard on the script, we had to keep pushing the start date for the shoot. We ended up having to push it a couple weeks too far, which actually ate into the Thor schedule, because they were very close together. And that got pushed again and again, and it just got too far into the Thor schedule to be able to make it work. And my first commitment was to Marvel to make that film, so now I’ve kind of had to take Akira and sort of shift it around to the tail-end of Thor and move it down a couple of years.
Our own A.A. Dowd wasn’t crazy about Waititi’s latest film, but his track record for injecting personalized flair into blockbuster monoliths is hard to deny; we might have to wait several years to get a look at his vision of the grimy, Tetsuo-shouting future, but it’s hard to imagine it won’t at least be interesting to look at when it finally arrives.