Taika Waititi Would Cast Asian Leads If He Were Directing the ‘Akira’ Movie
When talk of an Akira remake began floating around once more following the truly embarrassing disaster that was this year’s Ghost in the Shell, much of the internet let out a collective screech of agony. But then the studio floated the idea that Jordan Peele of Get Out might direct it, and it began to look marginally more promising. After negotiations with Peele didn’t work out, Taika Waititi was approached about a month ago, and the prospect was more hopeful. Waititi’s not saying whether anything is happening with that, but he did note that if he were to do it, he wouldn’t make Ghost in the Shell’s same mistakes.
While speaking with IGN, the Thor: Ragnarok director addressed the rumor, which he still calls a rumor, and said that instead of a remake of the classic anime film he’d like to revisit the books.
I am – that was more or less a rumor. There was, I mean, I was in talks to do that, for sure, and something that I was very passionate about – am passionate about…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…And, yeah, so anyway there’s been some chats [about Waititi directing it].
As far as whitewashing concerns go, we wouldn’t have to worry about that if Waititi was in charge. Back in 2011, an Akira remake was tossed around with names like Kristen Stewart and Garrett Hedlund attached. But Waititi stressed the importance of casting Asian leads — and, not only that, he said he’d rather cast unknowns in the parts:
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.
Do we need an Akira remake? No. Would Waititi be one of the least terrible choices for the project? Absolutely.