The good news? Taika Waititi is still planning to direct the live-action Akira movie. The bad news? It's going to be at least a couple of years before he gets around to it. Waititi is gearing up to film Thor: Love and Thunder for Marvel Studios, which is going to be a massive production and something he has been committed to for some time. Unfortunately, that's going to get in the way of Akira getting done sooner.
Originally, Akira was supposed to film this year for a summer 2021 release. Taika Waititi, in the wake of the success of Thor: Ragnarok, was tapped to helm the long-gestating adaptation. During a recent interview while promoting his new movie Jojo Rabbit, Waititi shed a little light on what's going on and when we can expect the movie to get underway again. Here's what he had to say about it.
"Unfortunately, the timing with Akira, because we've been working really hard on the script, we had to keep pushing the start date for the shoot. We ended up having to push it a couple weeks too far, which actually ate into the Thor schedule, because they were very close together. And that got pushed again and again, and it just got too far into the Thor schedule to be able to make it work. And my first commitment was to Marvel to make that film, so now I've kind of had to take Akira and sort of shift it around to the tail-end of Thor and move it down a couple of years."
Warner Bros., back in July, delayed production on Akira indefinitely. At the time, it was reported that it had to do with scheduling conflicts, though it was also noted the studio wanted to keep Taika Waititi on board. These new comments all but confirm what we knew previously, but that comes at a cost to those who were hoping this project was finally getting off the ground.
Akira, which is based on the manga series of the same name by Katsuhiro Otomo, has been planned as a live-action movie in Hollywood for years now. It goes back at least as far as 2012 when Jaume Collet-Serra (The Shallows, Non-Stop) was hired to direct, only to depart at a later date. When Taika Waititi came on board, the project was given new life. And having Leonardo DiCaprio on board as a producer certainly didn't hurt matters either.
Akira had previously been set to arrive on May 21, 2021. Meanwhile, Thor: Love and Thunder, which is expected to start filming early next year, is hitting theaters on November 5, 2021. To make matters more complicated for Taika Waititi, he's now going to squeeze in another movie, Next Goal Wins, ahead of production on his next MCU adventure, which he's only able to do since it's much smaller in scale. This news comes to us via IGN.