Taika Waititi to direct Akira, film due Summer 2021 (Otomo to direct anime series)

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#1 Edited by liquiddragon (3526 posts) -

Warner Bros announced today Akira will hit theaters May 21, 2021, same day as John Wick Chapter 4 is scheduled to be released.

Right now I'm optimistic. Waititi is a pretty good director and Alita ended up doing ok so I think the studio won't half ass it.

What do y'all think? Are you excited for this adaption or does it make you nervous?


Otomo to direct Akira anime series.

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#2 Edited by Redhotchilimist (2971 posts) -

I think Waititi makes funny stuff and Akira is incredibly self-serious and Japanese-oriented. Doesn't seem like a good fit.

But whatever, it can't be worse than most others. Even if the movie turns out to be not as good as the most visually impressive anime ever, it'll get people talking about the original. A new wave of people will become fans. It's fine.

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#3 Posted by FLStyle (6702 posts) -

Loved Thor Ragnarok, strange choice for Akira though.

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#4 Posted by TheHT (15875 posts) -

lol what.

well hopefully it isn't a comedy (though still occasionally funny; it's not completely grimdark), and hopefully it's a 2-parter that takes after the books.

but it's probably gonna just be pretty, so at least there'll be that. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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#5 Edited by Rahf (529 posts) -

Taika Waititi is a phenomenal director with a very distinct style. I disagree with @redhotchilimist that Waititi's funny. Rather, I find his work kooky and the tone bouncy between serious and hysterically funny. In this case I think his penchant for kooky elements doesn't serve the source material, and they could've done much better with someone equally stylish, such as Nicholas Winding Refn.

Happy to be proven wrong. Happy to also have a completely different take on Akira, since that old-ish severe tone and languid pacing is distinctly Japanese 80s and 90s anime.

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#6 Posted by Rorie (5867 posts) -

I think Waikiki will do it justice, but MAN has this ever taken a long time to come around. I remember hearing that DiCaprio was going to star in a Neo New York version of this in the....late 90s? Early 2000s?

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#7 Posted by Brackstone (939 posts) -

I think Taika Waititi will do just fine. He directed a movie with some pretty significant action and CGI (Thor), so that won't be an issue. That's probably one the biggest factors for why he was chosen, executives and producers know he can make a big movie successfully. Hunt for the Wilderpeople had some pretty good emotional beats throughout, so he's not just a comedy guy, he can direct a dramatic scene.

Besides, comedy people can be fantastic at other things. Jordan Peele's success outside comedy can't be disputed, and to use a topical example, Craig Maizin, creator and writer of HBO's Chernobyl, which is fantastic and widely acclaimed, is better known for writing all the Hangover movies and Scary Movie 3&4. It's impossible to judge someone's ability to write dramatic material purely from their comedy work, and their history with comedy doesn't meant that's all they can do.

So far he's been a fantastic director and I think he's a great choice. I'd be more worried about things being out of his control, but if he's given enough creative freedom, it'll probably be pretty good.

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#8 Posted by liquiddragon (3526 posts) -

@rorie: He's still producing it under his production company but Waititi is looking to hire an Asian for the role.

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#9 Edited by Mikemcn (8599 posts) -

Not everything needs a live action remake?

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#10 Posted by TheHT (15875 posts) -

@brackstone: That's the hope right, that what we've seen is not at all representative of what we'd get, and that this is an opportunity for him to show what else he can do.

@rorie: He's still producing it under his production company but Waititi is looking to hire an Asian for the role.

Set in Neo-Tokyo with an Asian cast or we riot.

Also, Akira is set in 2019 (and the Olympic situation happened to align with reality, to boot), so releasing this a couple years after is a shame (not really, but you know).

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#11 Posted by liquiddragon (3526 posts) -

@mikemcn: It's supposed to be an adaptation of the manga but places are reporting it as a live-action remake of the anime.

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#12 Edited by Captain_Insano (3531 posts) -

I recommend watching 'Boy' or 'Hunt for the Wilderpeople'. They are humorous but there's also a fair bit of dark stuff going on

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#13 Posted by Humanity (18938 posts) -

The bikes need to leave neon light trails behind them or else it’s a flop.

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#14 Posted by ripelivejam (13226 posts) -

@mikemcn: Looking in your direction, Avatar the last airbender :(

At least the shayamalan movie was a fucking disgrace. With the creators on board for the Netflix series I am more hopeful. But would much rather these incredibly talented people (not shayamalan) tell something NEW. (Which is why I already think The Dragon Prince is fantastic and can't wait for season 3)

I am not the biggest Akira fan but it's gained appreciation for me over the years. Maybe the new one will take in more of the manga element that I hear goes into so much more detail. Too much to hope for but maybe they'll attempt to change things up a bit amd piss off the diehards.

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#15 Posted by aerithlives (37 posts) -

There's no point in making Akira unless they are telling the whole story. If it's just a remake of the anime, well, it was already exactly how Otomo wanted it. You can't improve on his work.

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#16 Posted by jaycrockett (860 posts) -


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#17 Edited by Rabidlamb (63 posts) -

I hope it's like Alita and they take out all the nuance and subtlety and replace all the violence with rollerblading.

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#18 Posted by BigBoss1911 (2936 posts) -

Just don't fuck it up, which they most likely will.

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#19 Edited by MrGreenMan (230 posts) -

Unless this is going to be some kind of 6 film epic I highly doubt they are going to be using much of the manga here. There is something like 9000 pages to go though here. I get the movie is great, but that only like 1/3 of the first 2 books and doesn't even get close to the insanity that is the manga. So unless this is an animated series, then I can absolutely see it working then, there just is not nearly enough time to tell much of then story even in three films let alone one.

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#20 Edited by MonkeyKing1969 (7649 posts) -

The manga is bloated, and the 1988 anime is a series of snips from various parts of the Manga. The 1988 anime does not make a complete narrative WORTH following along to understand. Watch the last five minutes of the anime film, and then tell me what most audiences would say..?

They'd say, "Screw that %$@ing nonsense!"

Any screenplay based on teh manag or anime needs to be rewritten. The anime, as a satisfying narrative, sucks. Taika Waititi could be fine with this mateial, but the weak link is how to convey the massive flood of material picked from teh bloated manga.

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#21 Edited by Shindig (4963 posts) -

"We took so long because it's all hand animated." That would be the best case scenario. Or they do something visually interesting and weird that could stand the passage of time.

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#22 Posted by Nicholas_Attano (19 posts) -

Odd choice for Taika but as long as it doesn't get blackwashed or injected with agendas I'm down.

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#23 Posted by SethMode (2052 posts) -
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#24 Posted by liquiddragon (3526 posts) -
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#25 Edited by TheHT (15875 posts) -
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#26 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7649 posts) -

@theht said:

:O :O :O :O :O :O :O :O

e: wait, okay, so it's a continuation huh? well that'll be something. also that article refers to it as steampunk. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Well, Akira is punk...80s Neo-Armageddon Aftermath Punk.

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#27 Posted by TheHT (15875 posts) -
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#28 Posted by casselld (18 posts) -

I'm 100% for this stuff being brought back. I haven't watched the original movie in about a decade, but I'm cautiously optimistic about all the new Akira content.

But to be honest, I'm just into it because the vibes spoke to me as a 14 year old into the whole anime thing. Give me some cool motorcycles and government intrigue with big set pieces, and I'll probably be happy with it. Taika is a great director, I hope they just let him go wild on this.