‘Akira’ Back? ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Helmer Taika Waititi In Talks


Akira is revving back up, with Warner Bros negotiating with Taika Waititi, the New Zealand-born director and actor who helmed Thor: Ragnarok. The film is a live action version of anime artist Katsuhiro Otomo’s 6-volume graphic novel. The story takes place in the rebuilt New Manhattan where a leader of a biker gang saves his friend from a medical experiment. Mad Chance’s Lazar is producing with Appian Way’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson. The picture has been a big priority since Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures acquired it for 7-figures from manga publisher Kodansha. The intention has always been to make 2 films, each covering 3 books in the series.

Won’t be his next film after Thor however.

Waititi’s booked next to direct Jojo Rabbit, a WWII dramedy that is set up at Fox Searchlight with a spring start date. Waititi wrote the script. CAA and Manage-ment rep him.


I don’t know how I feel about relocating Akira to “New Manhattan” if only because Neo Tokyo feels so iconic even in name. But I also don’t think they should even be making a live action Akira adaptation in the first place so I’m not really sure why I’m complaining.

I am honestly glad to hear that they plan on at least adapting the entire story instead of truncating it like the anime movie did though.


You cannot take the Japanese identity out of Akira. Why even make this? We already got an incredible film adaptation of Akira. It was released in 1988.

Hopefully this never gets off the ground.


I mean if GITS is anything to judge by, there’s zero chance this will be anything but a train wreck, especially given how Akira evokes Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That just doesn’t play with the setting transplant.


Akira is so deeply steeped in post-WWII Japanese societal moods that it’s impossible and ridiculous to divorce its cultural identity from the work. Not feeling optimistic about this at all honestly

Really good article on the connection between Akira and Japan in the wake of Hiroshima and Nagasaki:


Isn’t this the 3rd time this year alone someone reported that a hot young director is attached to Akira’s corpse? I’m fairly convinced it’s never going to happen, which G O O D.


The only Akira adaptation I would want is an anime OVA series which is extremely faithful to the manga.
In absence of that I will take that 35th anniversary manga box that’s being released this year. The first official Western release of the manga in the original right to left format!



I might have to get that. I’ve read the first 4 volumes from my University’s library, but it was flipped to be read left to right. Chances of this box not being outrageously expensive?


MSRP looks like it’s around $200 so you might get a deal for less (pre-order on amazon is $135) but we’ll see where that price goes.



(DAMN YOU LIMITED FUNDS, AND SPACE FOR MANGA/COMICS! Time to get a more fancy collection friendly place of residence)



Yeah the MSRP is around $200. I ordered it on Amazon with lowest price guarantee for £99.97
It’s basically my big purchase of the year but then I also think it’s the greatest comic book ever made so it’s 100% worth it for me (provided it’s as high quality as I hope it is).


I’ve been looking at this for months now and It’s something I think I’m gonna plop the $175 Canadian on. I feel like it’s something I have to own. That “Good For Health, Bad For Education” patch it comes with is tempting as hell, too.

Akira is my favourite comic/manga/graphic novel/whatever. Part of that is how couched it is in post-WWII Japanese culture. Taking the Neo-Tokyo out of Akira is taking away it’s voice. You just can’t do it and have the material speak to people the same way the manga and the movie did in the 1980s and still do today. Not to mention how horribly insensitive it would be to evoke the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the United States.


Ghost In The Shell is similarly an inherently Japanese story, and that didn’t stop them.

(from Jon Tsuei, after Johansson’s casting had been announced https://storify.com/charlesatan/jon-tsuei-on-ghost-in-the-shell-as-a-japanese-stor)

“The manga came out in 1989, the first film 1995. An era whenJapan was considered the world leader in technology. Everything hot in that era came out of Japan. Cars, video games, walkmans, all of that. Japan was setting a standard. This is a country that went from poised to conquer to the Pacific to forcibly disarmed. They poured their resources into their economy. And as a country that was unable to defend themselves, but was a world leader in tech, it created a relationship to tech that is unique. Ghost In The Shell plays off all of these themes. It is inherently a Japanese story, not a universal one.”


The thing that most grosses me out about this is that they clearly don’t care about Akira in any meaningful way. They don’t want to represent the culture that the story comes from, nor do they want to wrestle with the themes and symbolism of the original work. They simply want the brand recognition of the AKIRA logo to boost sales.

If they wanted to adapt the story for a western palette they could do what The Magnificent Seven did for Seven Samurai, or what The Departed did for Infernal Affairs. They could give it a new title with new characters, new location, new themes, etc, using Akira as the foundational backbone. But they would never do that because they specifically want the brand recognition.


People have been talking about Akira being remade in America since the movie came out. Tom Cruise was going to star in one version of it. Nothing has ever happened, and frankly I doubt anything ever will.