Taika Waititi Would Cast Asian Leads for ‘Akira’ Remake

Whitewashing Concerns

Taika Waititi’s involvement with live-action Akira remake is still no sure thing, but the “Thor: Ragnarok” director did speak to IGN recently where he confirmed that there have been talks, but refused to reveal whether or not he’d take the project on.

One thing the filmmaker did reveal, however, was how he’d like to cast the film and how he would approach it.

“Actually Asian teenagers would be the way to do it for me and probably no, not, like no name, I mean sort of unfound, untapped talent. Yeah, I’d probably want to take it a bit back more towards the books.”

That would be a big shift from previous casting attempts for Warner Bros. long-delayed movie, which at one point had Garrett Hedlund cast as Kaneda, Kristen Stewart wanted for the role of Kei, and the role of Tetsuo coming down to Dane DeHaan or Michael Pitt.

“I actually love the books. Love the movie, but I would not do a remake of the movie. I would do an adaptation of the books,” he explained.

The live-action Akira movie will reportedly take place in a rebuilt New Manhattan where a leader of a biker gang saves his friend from a medical experiment. The plan is to split the story into two films, each covering three books in this classic manga series from Katsuhiro Otomo.