Famed New Zealand director and fervent male romper advocate Taika Waititi is negotiating with Warner Bros. to direct a live-action Akira film (per Deadline). Waititi is best known for charming comedies like vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows and adventure film Hunt for the Wilderpeople, his first big blockbuster being the hotly anticipated Thor: Ragnarok from Disney and Marvel Studios.
Hollywood efforts to adapt Akira have never really gotten off the ground—as Deadline points out, some recent attempts have involved screenwriter Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli, Telltale’s The Walking Dead) and the duo of Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby (Children of Men, Iron Man). The studio also courted Jordan Peele for the project, As implied already, none of these attempts came to fruition.
Akira is a Japanese cyberpunk manga series by Katsuhiro Otomo, and received an animated adaptation in 1988 directed by Otomo himself. The anime film has quite a legendary status, one that any American live-action adaptation would have a difficult time living up to. And as we’ve seen with another manga adaptation in Ghost in the Shell, the possibility of whitewashing remains very real.
If Waititi were to take up the task, we’d trust that he’d be smarter with his casting, and with an excellent track record and buzz hotter than ever for his Marvel movie, he could very well be the right person for the job. Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok recently got a new TV spot and will release in theaters on Nov. 3; Waititi also plays a role in his film as Kronan warrior Korg. While we wait until then, let’s continue to appreciate Waititi’s pineapple romper.