Taika Waititi Excited To Be Next Film Director To Not Direct Akira For Warner Brothers

By Takashi Shimura

With a planned date of May 21, 2121, Warner Bros has announced, again, its plan to not release a live action version of Katsuhiro Otomo’s classic manga Akira.

Director Taika Waititi, who had a massive hit with Marvel Studios’ Thor Ragnarok in 2017, is the latest in a string of legendary directors to not make the action adventure film in which a biker gang member is transformed into a rampaging psychic psychopath that only his former friend and a group of psychics can stop.

Producer Leonardo DiCaprio said, “Between Akira and Robotech, we’ve done everything we can to make sure we get the source material done right for the big screen. This is why we brought Taiki aboard to be the next director, so we can continue to waste Warner Brothers money and not get this film made.”

The animated film adaptation was released to critical acclaim in 1988, 2 years before the manga was completed. It’s been nearly 17 years since Warner Brothers acquired the rights to make a live action version. As DiCaprio noted, Warner Brothers has then spent millions of dollars making sure the film never gets made.

Since 2002, directors Stephen Norrington, Ruairi Robinson, Allen & Albert Hughes, George Miller, Christopher Nolan, Justin Lin, Jordan Peele, and Jaume Collet-Serra have worked diligently to not bring Akira to the big screen with Collet-Serra saying, “It almost came very close with me, which is why I had to immediately leave the project.”

Several concerns of whitewashing and racebending have dogged the production as the original manga takes place in the futuristic city of Neo-Tokyo in Japan. Producers helped quell these rumors over the years by talking to stars like Andrew Garfield, Robert Pattinson, Michael Fassbender, Garrett Hedlund, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake, Joaquin Phoenix, Keanu Reeves, Gary Oldman, Helena Bonham Carter, Kristen Stewart, Paul Dano, Michael Pitt, and Keira Knightley to take on the all Asian cast roles. Says DiCaprio, “Well, Keanu is like some sort of Asian, right? Doesn’t Keanu mean “goodwill” in Malaysian?”

Waititi himself is excited. “I join a long legacy of wonderful directors not making Akira. I look forward to wanting a no-name fresh faced all Asian cast for my $180 million dollar production, being told to go fuck myself, and having to cast Zac Efron as Tetsuo. Zac, I look forward to not working with you.”

Reeves, a Chinese-Hawaiian-British American formerly from Canada and whose name means “the breeze,” was quoted only as saying, “I was up for Tetsuo? That’s really some bullshit.”

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