Taika Waititi would cast Asian actors in Akira

Ryan Leston
UK Movies Writer

A live-action ‘Akira’ is still in the works…

And filmmaker Taika Waititi says he would cast Asian actors in the movie.

That is, if he was in the director’s chair.

During an interview with IGN, the ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ director confirmed that he has been approached to direct the upcoming ‘Akira’ remake… and would cast Asian actors in leading roles.

“Yeah. Actually, Asian teenagers would be the way to do it for me and probably no, not, like no name, I mean sort of unfound, untapped talent,” he explained. “Yeah, I’d probably want to take it a bit back more towards the books.”

– Taika Waititi In Talks For Akira
– Akira Eyes Director Jordan Peele
– Akira Has Two Directors In Mind

He later confirmed that he meant ‘all’ the books in the six-volume Manga series.

And he also confirmed rumours that he was in talks to direct.

“I am — that was more or less a rumor,” he said. “There was, I mean, I was in talks to do that, for sure, and something that I was very passionate about — am passionate about.”

But it seems unclear whether or not he’s still in the running.

Warner Bros. has been keen to develop a live-action ‘Akira’ for some time, but Waititi stressed that he’s not interested in remaking the animated classic – instead, he wants to adapt the original Manga source material.

“I actually love the books,” he said. “Love the movie, but I would not do a remake of the movie. I would do an adaptation of the books. And, yeah, so anyway there’s been some chats [about me directing it].”

Of course, with growing concern about Hollywood whitewashing, this is bound to go down well with the Asian acting community. It certainly sounds as though the director is keen on taking an approach to make a more inclusive movie.

And that’s big step forward.

But whether or not he gets to make ‘Akira’ remains to be seen.

– The Long History Of The Akira Remake
– Has Disney Met Its Match With Your Name?
– Hayao Miyazaki Returns To Studio Ghibli