'Thor: Ragnarok' Director Taika Waititi Talks 'Akira' Remake And Whitewashing


So when a planned live-action feature film adaptation of Akira made headlines months ago, many fans were anxious that it will be another "Dragonball: Evolution", "The Last Airbender", or "Ghost in the Shell" in the making.

This is mostly because Hollywood studios have always been in denial that a Whitewashed casting and a dumbed down story will no longer appeal to the fans of the source material and even the rest of the general viewing public. Numerous directors have been suggested for the task but the latest to be approached by Warner Bros to bring the project to life is the man behind Thor: Ragnarok, Taika Waititi.

When I asked Waititi if he was going to direct Akira, he replied, "I am - that was more or less a rumor".

That's definitely about to change with the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok, which has already been drawing unbelievable early buzz.

Still, Waititi was able to relay his passion for the source material and his potential ideas, confirming that a film from him would adapt the manga rather than the 1988 animated film: "I actually love the books". Love the movie, but I would not do a remake of the movie. Previously proposed adaptations of Akira had a string of young Hollywood actors like Dane DeHaan, Garret Hedlund and Kristen Stewart attached - you may have noticed that all of them are white. Both Death Note and Ghost in the Shell received mixed reviews from fans and critics, with the latter movie proving to be a box-office bomb despite the star power of Scarlett Johansson. Hollywood has been facing a mounting backlash of late due its far too frequent practice of whitewashing roles, particularly Asian ones, but Waititi doesn't intend to add to that awful trend if he did get the gig. IF he does end up directing Akira. "Yeah, I'd probably want to take it a bit back more towards the books", Waititi was quoted as saying.

"Actually, Asian teenagers would be the way to do it for me and probably... sort of unfound, untapped talent", he shared.

Waititi later confirmed that the plan is to adapt all six volumes of the manga, but it remains to be seen if the adaptation will be split into two films and/or if it will take place in a rebuilt Manhattan instead of Neo Tokyo. It was there the site asked Waititi how he'd approach the film since he has been rumored as a front-running director for the project.