Despite a slew of reports over the last few months, it’s looking like the live-action adaptation of AKIRA is set to be placed under indefinite hold. The news came out following the announcement that Taika Waititi is set to return to the Marvel cinematic universe for the upcoming Thor 4 (working title), thus dragging him away from AKIRA’s directorial seat for the foreseeable future. According to reports from Hollywood Reporter, Waititi was in the midst of talent scouting for the film when scheduling conflicts with Thor 4 led him to put it on the backburner.
The announcement comes not even a full month after AKIRA’s creator Katsuhiro Otomo announced during Anime Expo 2019 that he’d be revisiting the series for an upcoming anime that would adapt his full original manga. While a live-action adaptation of the iconic manga-turned-film has reportedly been in the works for several years, numerous issues have consistently prevented it from seeing the light of day. But with this all-new anime adaptation coming out, maybe it’s for the best that a live-action film stays on the sideline.
Originally penned between 1982 through until 1990 in the pages of Young Magazine, Katsuhiro Otomo’s seminal AKIRA has proven to be one of Japan’s most iconic pieces of media. In 1988, a full two years before the manga concluded, the massively-iconic AKIRA anime film was released, thus changing the international perception of anime forever. But there are several major differences between the anime and manga with the anime only adapting a fraction of the manga’s content. That’s something that both Taika Waititi and Katsuhiro Otomo discussed for both of the upcoming adaptations; being based on the manga rather than the anime film.
At any rate, it’ll be interesting to see what the future holds for Taika Waititi’s live-action AKIRA film, and whether or not the upcoming anime series plays a role in its eventual release. We’ll be sure to keep you updated as more information emerges.