Taika Waititi’s live-action Akira remake gets an update.
Of all the projects which Taika Waititi could tackle, we didn’t exactly expect an Akira live-action remake to be high on his priorities. Katsuhiro Otomo’s 1988 animated classic was an incredibly ambitious and expensive project, but one which has paid off considerably. Its many images are entrenched in popular culture, and its influence on cinema, fashion and more have reinforced its iconic status over the years.
It’s often credited for being one of the most important dystopian films ever made and tells the story of a biker gang leader who achieves strange abilities after a motorcycle accident. Exploring themes of authority and resistance, there’s no way of underselling Akira’s importance within the realm of cyberpunk cinema and culture.
Considering its wealth of influence, it was only a matter of time before Hollywood embarked on translating it to live-action. But honestly, we never would have expected Taika Waititi to actually helm it. There has been talk about it for years, but for a very long time, we’ve seen directors display interest only to pass it by. He’s best known for his work on the MCU’s Thor: Ragnarok, which many credit as the Thor series’ saving grace; it’s hard to disagree. However, the New Zealand filmmaker boasts a number of wonderful films, including Boy, Hunt for the Wilderpeople and What We Do in the Shadows.
Arguments in favour of Waititi as a modern auteur are frankly rather justified, which makes it harder to envision him deviating from his signature style for Akira. “Taika Waititi’s Akira” — it’s even strange to say it, so fans are no doubt treating it with confused caution for the time being.
He has maintained a consistent tone across his entire output, even when tasked with helming a blockbuster for Marvel Studios, so we’re not sure what to expect here. Screenrant reports that it’s estimated to begin filming in July, so we’ll be waiting a while to see what Waititi has in store for us all. Let’s hope he continues his streak of satisfying successes.