TAIKA WAITITI Again Casts Doubt on Directing HOLLYWOOD’s “AKIRA” Adaptation

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There is no stopping the rise of New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi’s star as perceivable right now. While he may have only entered the mainstream moviegoer consciousness by directing “Thor: Ragnarok” in 2017, he has established himself as a major auteur following his satirical WWII-set comedy “Jojo Rabbit” won him an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. But even before his momentous accolade Waititi has been kept busy working on upcoming MCU film “Thor: Love and Thunder.” There has also been a series of alternating news developments regarding his involvement in Warner Bros.’ planned live-action adaptation of anime film “Akira.”

Taika Waititi’s place in the in-development “Akira” production has sort of flip-flopped in months past, going from confirmed to reportedly not. But as IGN has found out, the director is no longer sure he can make time for the project, and this time he might mean it. During an interview following his winning the Oscar for the “Jojo Rabbit” screenplay at the recent 92nd Academy Awards, Waititi notes that he has lost any confidence in getting to direct the planned live-action anime remake, explaining that he has filled up his work schedule and is not sure he can remain available.

“So I’m not sure if even in two years I’d be,” says the “Thor: Love and Thunder” director. “I don’t know what I’m doing in…two days.” This remark was in echo of an earlier statement he made in October 2019, explaining that his involvement in the fourth “Thor” film for Marvel Studios might see him not starting work on “Akira” until two years later on. Waititi does not however think that Warner Bros. Pictures would scrap the project instead, adding, “I think eventually it will happen. I’m just not sure if I’ll be doing it.”

As an illustration of how busy Taika Waititi has become, even following the release of “Jojo Rabbit” he is working on “Next Goal Wins,” a comedy film starring Michael Fassbender of 20th Century Fox’s “X-Men” reboot fame. It is hoped the movie will be ready for release in late 2020, whereupon Waititi can focus on “Thor: Love and Thunder” where the power of Thor passes onto his mortal ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). That movie is supposed to start production this August, for a late 2021 premiere. Then there are also his acting roles, as Waititi has been hinted at joining the cast for Warner Bros.’ “Suicide Squad” sequel under fellow MCU director James Gunn.

“Akira” from Warner Bros. is an adaptation of the seminal original 1988 anime film in a post-apocalyptic cyberpunk setting. The movie is supposed to be released in May of 2021.

Image courtesy of Hollywood Reporter

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