Looks like there’s hope that the upcoming live-action Akira adaptation will, in fact, be safe from whitewashing, as director Taika Waititi wants Asian actors to be in on the film project.
Waititi hasn’t yet confirmed if they have indeed signed on as director for the movie, but he’s interested in adapting Akira as it was from the original books, as opposed to the 1988 Katsuhiro Otomo film.
In regards to the casting, he said “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.”
This is great given that many films are under fire for allegedly whitewashing their cast (like Ghost in the Shell and Netflix’s Death Note) and even films like the upcoming live-action Fullmetal Alchemist movie isn’t safe from criticism on the race of their actors.
The movie project is set to span two films, with each film to tackle three volumes of Katsuhiro Otomo’s original manga, with the story itself taking place “in the rebuilt New Manhattan where a leader of a biker gang saves his friend from a medical experiment.”
Andrew Lazar of Mad Chance will be producing the film alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson’s Appian Way Productions.