Taika Waititi to Helm 'Akira' Live-Action Remake

The 'Thor: Ragnarok' helmer is reportedly in negotiations to direct the long-gestating live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo's anime.

AceShowbiz - "Akira" live-action remake is eying "Thor: Ragnarok" helmer Taika Waititi. Deadline is the first to report the news, stating that the New Zealand-born director/actor is in negotiations with Warner Bros. to serve behind the lens for the long-gestating live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo's 1988 Japanese animated film.

"Akira" consists of six volumes, and there are reportedly going to be two live-action films, each based on three volumes. Set in a future city environment called New Manhattan, the sci-fi epic follows the leader of a bike gang who must save his best friend, who has been experimented on by the government causing him to develop dangerous and destructive psychokinetic powers.

The project has nearly come together a few times over the years. The Hughes Brothers ("The Book of Eli"), Ruairi Robinson ("The Last Days on Mars") and Jaume Collet-Serra ("The Shallows") were among the filmmakers who previously tried to remake the anime which was based on the manga series of the same name. Jordan Peele ("Get Out") was once attached to helm the project, too.

It's also had plenty of talent attached before. When Collet-Serra was set to direct back in 2012, actors Dane DeHaan and Michael Pitt were up for the role of Tetsuo, while Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Ken Watanabe and Helena Bonham Carter were among those who were set to co-star in the big-screen remake.

Leonardo DiCaprio, along with his Appian Way partner Jennifer Davisson and Mad Chance's Andrew Lazar ("American Sniper"), is producing the film, to which the studio acquired the rights back in 2008. It's still unclear how far along the talks between Warner Bros. and Waititi are, but his next directorial project is supposed to be WWII dramedy "Jojo Rabbit", which he also wrote and is expected to begin filming next spring.

Waititi is currently gearing up for the release of the third "Thor" film which will open in theaters across the nation on November 3.

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