May 21, 2021. Put that on your calendar for the day that Taika Waititi’s live-action Akira flick with hit theaters. And we really couldn’t be more relieved, too, that Taika Waititi is the man who is in charge of turning the anime/manga juggernaut into a live-action movie. We all know how that usually ends up.
Having spoken on rumors over the last couple years regarding whether or not he would be doing it at all, Waititi was pretty adamant about making it known that if he was to do it, he would be doing it faithfully by following the six graphic manga novels and casting Asian teenagers.
“I actually love the books. Love the movie, but I would not do a remake of the movie. I would do an adaptation of the books”
The last few anime/manga turned live-action movies have been blasted by media for not only being awful, to start, but using an all-white cast, even when the source material takes place in Japan with all of the characters being Japanese and having Japanese names (you know, because they are Japanese).
Immediately, Ghost in the Shell, starring Scarlett Johansson, and Death Note, starring that kid from the Naked Brothers band (can’t get much more white than that), comes to mind. Both white-washed and with overwhelmingly lousy scores to boot (Death Note was the worst film of 2017, in my opinion). But that wont be the case here, says Taika in so many words.
“actually Asian teenagers would be the way to do it for me… I mean sort of unfound, untapped talent.”
No casting specifics have been shared yet, but we Taika Waititi has us feeling calm and confident. If there is ever a quality director of integrity that is true to his word, it would be Waititi. We just hope he has the necessary creative control that keeps studio execs from butting in and messing it all up.