Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi weighs in on Akira remake, avoiding whitewashing

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Oct 11, 2017

With Thor: Ragnarok opening in just a few weeks, director Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows) is poised to become an American blockbuster force, which means all manner of new opportunities will await him. Among them: a chance to helm the live-action remake of the iconic manga-turned-anime Akira, which has been in the works at Warner Bros. for years.

A few weeks ago, it was reported that Waititi is in talks to make that film, but the director himself didn't weigh in until now. In a new interview with IGN, Waititi confirmed that "there's been some chats" about him making the film, though he didn't exactly confirm that he's definitely onboard for the project. Waititi did stress, though, that if he made the film, it would be less of a remake of the 1998 anime film and more of an adaptation of "all" six volumes of the manga.

"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," Waititi said.

Waititi also addressed concerns over whitewashing should an American remake of Akira actually get made. In the past, filmmakers have even considered moving the location from Tokyo to Manhattan, something longtime fans weren't too happy about. For Waititi, the choice is clear: Cast "Asian teenagers" to play the main characters.

"Yeah, actually Asian teenagers would be the way to do it for me and probably no, not, like no name, I mean sort of unfound, untapped talent. Yeah, I'd probably want to take it a bit back more towards the books," he said.

So, if Waititi actually takes this gig and ends up adapting Akira, it would appear the project is in good hands.