In a development that, if true, would have both anime fans and general audiences recoiling in horror, a new rumor suggests that infamous director Taika “I’ll Ruin Your Mythos In A Minute” Waititi is moving full steam ahead with his previously announced, live-action cinematic adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s legendary manga Akira.
RELATED: Russia’s War On Anime Continues As State Government Bans Akira On Grounds That It Could “Harm The Health And Mental Development of Children”
First tapped to helm the project in 2017, Waititi’s Warner Bros.-produced take on Akira was originally set to release in May 2021 opposite John Wick: Chapter 4 (the latter was eventually moved to 2023 thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc on Hollywood’s production schedules), with the director promising that his film would have focused more on honoring Otomo’s original manga rather than its famous animated adaptation.
“I actually love the books,” Waititi told IGN in 2017 when asked about his involvement with the live-action film. “Love the movie, but I would not do a remake of the movie. I would do an adaptation of the books. And, yeah, so anyway there’s been some chats [about me directing Akira].”
However, before his adaptation could properly fire its engines and move past preliminary casting discussions, Waititi put the entire project on hold in favor of directing his recent disaster, Thor: Love and Thunder (According to sources who allegedly spoke to THR, Waititi’s temporary exit was also prompted by “script development concerns”).
But now, after having essentially put a nail into the coffin of Thor’s MCU character, it looks like Waititi is turning his attentions back to Neo-Tokyo.
On April 8th, Deadline senior film reporter Justin Kroll announced via his personal Twitter account that, “Since everyone is wondering where his STAR WARS film is, if I were a betting man my guess is Taika’s next movie is his AKIRA movie at WB, which he put on shelf to do [Love & Thunder]. ”
RELATED: Taika Waititi Responds To Recent Star Wars Report: “That Rumor’s About Three Years Old”
“He never left the film and word is script should be into studio soon,” he added. “Again nothing set in stone as the film would go through regular process before greenlight including figuring out a budget but sounds like all his focus is on that project.”
Despite Kroll’s reporting, as of writing, neither Waititi nor anyone from Warner Bros. has offered official confirmation of the director’s return to the project.
Further, WB’s live-action Akira has also yet to receive an updated release window.
NEXT: ‘Time Bandits’ Creator Terry Gilliam Reportedly Extremely Unhappy With Taika Waititi’s Upcoming Apple TV Adaptation: “His Disdain For The Entire Project Was Quite Obvious”