Move over, Marvel! Deadline reports Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi is in talks to helm Warner Bros.’ film adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira.
According to the report’s description of the film, “the story takes place in the rebuilt New Manhattan where a leader of a biker gang saves his friend from a medical experiment.” Warner Bros.’ plan for the project is to split the manga into two films, with each film adapting three books in the series.
Waititi’s past credits include the vampire mockumentary What We Do In the Shadows and his award-winning film Hunt for the Wilderpeople.
At one time, Warner Bros. courted Get Out director Jordan Peele to direct. However, he ultimately passed on the project in favor of his original creations. Life helmer Daniel Espinosa and Lights Out‘s David Sandberg, who is now directing Shazam, were also reportedly in the running recently.
Debuting in Young Magazine in 1988, Katsuhiro Otomo’s seminal cyberpunk manga became the first to be translated for English-speaking audiences, and was adapted by the author as a now-classic anime not long after. The story follows a teenage biker gang member and Neo Tokyo denizen, Tetsuo Shima, who becomes embroiled in a mystery involving his leader, Shotaro Kaneda, and a series of government experiments designed to harness the human potential for psychic proficiency. The experiment, of course, goes awry, which leaves Katsuhiro to discover the secrets of the enigmatic Akira.
Warner Bros. bought the rights to the influential manga in 2002. The closest the film came to reality was a few years ago with Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart attached to star, only for the project to be shelved at the last minute.
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