Taika Waititi still hopes to make a live-action Akira film for Warner Bros. Pictures.

Waititi spoke with WIRED UK about the many movies he's attached to direct after finishing Marvel's Thor: Love & Thunder, including Akira. “I’m still trying [to make it],” Waititi said. “I don’t wanna give up on that.” This comes nearly four years after Waititi boarded the project in September of 2017, only to shift his attention to the next Thor sequel, forcing Warner Bros. to scuttle Akira's planned release on May 21, 2021.

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First published in 1982, the Akira manga takes place in a post-apocalyptic city known as Neo-Tokyo and follows Kaneda, the leader of a teen biker gang, as he tries to save his friend Tetsuo after the latter discovers he has psychic powers similar to those of Akira, the mysterious being responsible for destroying the original Tokyo decades earlier. Creator Katsuhiro Otomo also wrote and directed the 1988 animated Akira movie, which is now considered a landmark film in the cyberpunk genre, as well as the larger world of Japanese animation.

Since acquiring the rights to the property in the early 2000s, Warner Bros. has gone through multiple failed attempts at adapting Akira into a live-action movie, with many directors and writers joining and leaving the project over that time. Despite this, Warner Bros. hoped Waititi would be the one to finally get the film off the ground and reportedly planned to reference Akira in Space Jam: A New Legacy before scrapping the idea when the project stalled once again.

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Akira, as mentioned earlier, isn't the only movie competing for Waititi's attention right now. The actor/filmmaker is also co-writing and directing a Star Wars movie for Lucasfilm, on top of developing a Flash Gordon reboot that he plans to direct for 20th Century Studios. If that wasn't enough, Waititi is further attached to oversee a pair of animated series based on Roald Dahl's novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for Netflix.

On the acting side of things, Waititi is playing Blackbeard in HBO Max's upcoming pirate comedy series Our Flag Means Death and stars opposite Ryan Reynolds in the action/comedy Free Guy. The latter premieres as a theater-exclusive on Aug. 13.

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Source: WIRED UK

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