It looks like the iconic manga Akira is revving back up, this time with Warner Bros. negotiating with Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi. Deadline Hollywood reports that Waititi is at the top of the list for the live action version of anime artist Katsuhiro Otomo’s 6-volume graphic novel. Leonardo DiCaprio is producing. The movie has been very high priority since Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures bought it for 7-figures from manga publisher Kodansha. Filmmakers intend to make 2 films, each covering 3 books in the series. Akira was first adapted as the classic anime in 1988.
The live-action movie has almost been made several times. Originally Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby and Gary Whitta wrote a script which originally had Ruairi Robinson attached to direct. It got closest to a start date several years ago, with Dane DeHaan and Michael Pitt both competing for the lead role of Tetsuo, and were going to star alongside Garrett Hedlund, Kristin Stewart, and potentially Ken Watanabe and Helena Bonham Carter. It never happened.
The most recent director approached for the film was Jordan Peele, but he ultimately turned it down. Taika Waititi is a solid director and it might be cool to see what he would do with Akira if he ends up signing on for the gig. What do you think about Waititi possibly directing a live-action Akira film?