In 1982 Katsuhiro Otomo published his now-iconic manga Akira….is this the moment that book finally becomes a film? We mean a live-action American one?
Warner Bros. announced today “Akira” has joined their release schedule and should be out two years from now. If you don’t have much enthusiasm for such an idea, we don’t blame you, but the movie’s director, Taika Waititi, has no intention of touching the 1988 anime adaption at all. His plan is to re-adapt the original manga, possibly using scenes the original film didn’t cover.
As Watiti told the website iO9, “My mom took me to see Akira in the cinema in 1989…it was a huge turning point in my life for what I imagined animation to be and realizing what it could be. So I read the [comic] books and I was always more curious as to what a broader adaptation of the books might look like instead of a remake of the film, which doesn’t need to be remade. But I do feel there could be a cool live-action adaptation of the books.”
It is kind of a missed opportunity that this movie doesn’t get to come out in the time period in which its “future” story is set (around 2019 or 2020, in other words right now). But the Akira adaption has been in and out of development for at least a decade, and there was really no telling WHEN or even IF the project would get moving.
It will take two years because Waititi is a busy man; he’s also a TV director and is working on Disney+’s The Mandalorian. Taking on this project meant he had to give up another one: Bubbles, a feature film based around Michael Jackson’s pet chimp. Seriously.