Filmmaker Taika Waititi (“Thor: Ragnarok,” “Hunt for the Wilderpeople”) is reportedly in negotiations to take the helm of the long-gestating live-action feature remake of the iconic anime and manga series “Akira” at Warner Bros. Pictures.
Set in the wake of the third World War, the story in the remake takes place in the rebuilt New Manhattan (shifting from the Neo Tokyo of the original) where a leader of a biker gang saves his friend from a medical experiment.
The project has been in the works for nearly a decade with various actors and directors coming and going, never being able to quite crack turning Katsuhiro Otomo’s iconic six-book manga and the 1988 feature considered one of the greatest animated films ever made.
Waititi would take over from Jaume Collet-Serra who left the project last year while the likes of Jordan Peele, Justin Lin, Daniel Espinosa and David Sandberg have all been rumored this year. Amongst the various actors attached at different points have been the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Morgan Freeman, Keanu Reeves, Gary Oldman, Ezra Miller, Kristen Stewart, Dane DeHaan, Ken Watanabe, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Pitt and Garrett Hedlund.
DiCaprio remains onboard as a producer along with Andrew Lazar and Jennifer Davisson. The plan is reportedly for two films, each adapting three of the books in the series.
Waititi will next direct the WWII dramedy “Jojo Rabbit” at Fox Searchlight with that filming in the spring.