From non-sexy Scar in The Lion King to blue (creepy) Will Smith in Aladdin, live-action remakes are everywhere RN. And it’s not just Disney jumping on the hype – swirling around the rumour mill for years, we finally have a production date for the new live-action Akira film.
With director Taika Waititi at the helm, the anime adaption is set to start filming in July, as reported byDiscussing Film. Waititi is said to be co-writing the screenplay with Michael Golamco, one of the writers of the upcoming Netflix comedy Always Be My Maybe, starring Keanu Reeves.
Although the California Film Commission just awarded the project an $18.5 million (£14.5 million) tax credit last month, reports of the film’s production have been circling ever since 2011, with directors Jordan Peele (Get Out) and Christopher Nolan (Inception) previously among the rumoured names involved.
Originally published in manga anthology mag Young Magazine, Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira achieved global notoriety in 1988 as the film we all know and love. A cyberpunk story of biker gangs and government experiments, the movie is credited with bringing anime to a western audience. Though Waititi has previously said he will draw inspiration for the remake primarily from the original 1982 materials, telling IGN in 2017: “I would not do a remake of the movie. I would do an adaption of the books.”
The director is also determined to cast Asian teenagers for the primary roles, which means he will avoid the whitewashing controversy that has surrounded previous anime remakes (see: Scarlett Johansson-starring Ghost in the Shell).