Because of Taika Waititi’s other commitments, not least to Marvel’s Thor 4, the live-action Akira film now 15 years in development has been pushed back a few times more. But in a statement to IGN the director has encouraged fans to hold hope, as he doesn’t plan to shelve the project yet.
“Unfortunately, the timing with Akira, because we’ve been working really hard on the script, we had to keep pushing back the start date for the shoot,” Waititi said. “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.”
Katsuhiro Otomo’s manga has been called unfilmable before. When the artist also directed the anime, it only worked as a kind of patchwork of the manga, turning the first third into its own separate story. It’s sadly unsurprising that working around such an epic storyline would prove troublesome for Warner Bros. But there is always time for the production to get back on track post-Thor, with or without Waititi on board.