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WIRE Buzz: Taika Waititi still down for Akira; Army teams with Blink-182 UFO foundation; more

By Jacob Oller

Although Taika Waititi has been handling every hot project Hollywood can thrust into his directorial hands, that doesn’t mean that the perennially cancelled and/or delayed live-action Akira remake is kaput. It’s just on the backburner. But, as the Kiwi recently confirmed, still definitely happening.

The upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder bumped the film, certainly, as the Marvel film hired the director and, because little competes with the MCU or Disney, flexed its corporate muscles to out-clout the anime. But never fear, anime fans. Speaking to IGN, the Thor: Ragnarok helmer explained the situation.

"Unfortunately, the timing with Akira, because we've been working really hard on the script, we had to keep pushing the start date for the shoot," Waititi said. "We ended up having to push it a couple weeks too far, which actually ate into the Thor schedule, because they were very close together. And that got pushed again and again, and it just got too far into the Thor schedule to be able to make it work.”

Since Waititi’s “first commitment was to Marvel to make that film, so now I've kind of had to take Akira and sort of shift it around to the tail-end of Thor and move it down a couple of years,” it sounds like Waititi had signed some sort of deal with Disney that, if the House of Mouse wished, they could call him in for the sequel if they determined it was necessary. Now that’s usurped any other priorities he may have had.

Warner Bros. likely won’t have Akira hit its previously announced May 2021 date, but it’s still chugging along.

Next, that UFO-focused foundation formed by ex-Blink-182 frontman Tom DeLonge? The one that brought a video to light that the U.S. Navy then confirmed was of an unidentified flying object? Well now it’s teaming up with the U.S. Army in order to research a lot of tech that’s out of this world.

Vice reports that To the Stars Academy is partnering with the Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command R&D arm. The five year agreement doesn’t pay To the Stars, but commits the government to spending at least $750,000 on the partnership’s shared research over the period. That research includes “inertial mass reduction, mechanical/structural meta materials, electromagnetic meta material wave guides, quantum physics, quantum communications, and beamed energy propulsion," according to the contract.

While this doesn’t directly tie into proving that aliens exist, investment into speculative technology does brush the extraterrestrial. As a “non-traditional source for novel materials and transformational technologies to enhance our military ground system capabilities,” according to the Army’s Ground Vehicle Systems Center deputy product manager Dr. Joseph Cannon, To the Stars possesses stuff with interesting enough origins for the government to want to study it. Stuff like, say, metals they claim to be from a downed UFO.

Since this is the government and this is about mystery space metal, findings will likely not be disclosed until the five years are up...if then. But know that some of your tax dollars are funding scientists to see if this flying saucer metal is worth putting on Army jets.

Finally, comic mashup master Yehudi Mercado is back at it again with his newest work after the hip-hop-laden genre mix of Sci Fu. Fun Fun Fun World is a graphic novel from Oni Press, which is sort of Space Jam meets Mars Attacks! 

Devastorm 5's alien invaders come to dominate Earth...but end up trying to rule an abandoned amusement park. Better than enslaving pro basketball players and/or draining them of their athletic ability, right? The Hollywood Reporter previewed the book, which introduces plenty of wonky aliens. A crew including Captain Minky, Science Officer Illy, and Security Officer Eggla has to get into some goofy hijinks, that definitely includes failed missions and destructive roller coasters.

Fun Fun Fun World comes out in April of 2020.