You’d think enough fans have yelled at Hollywood over its whitewashing sins already, but the industry still manages to flub up hard. This spring, fans around the world criticized projects like Ghost in the Shell and Hellboy for its insensitive casting choices.
However, if Akira does get made under Taika Waititi, then don’t expect the adaptation to wash out its Japanese origins.
Waititi has been doing an on-going press tour for Thor: Ragnarok ahead of its release, and IGN had a chance to speak with the director at one stop. It was there the site asked Waititi how he’d approach the film since he has been rumored as a front-running director for the project.
As it turns out, Waititi isn’t down with whitewashing Tetsuo and Kaneda.
"Yeah. 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,” Waititi told the site.
“Yeah, I'd probably want to take it a bit back more towards the books." he added on, nodding to the six-volume manga collection the Akira anime film is based on.
Waititi’s note is one of the more refreshing things fans have heard about the Akira film. Back in 2011, reports surfaced that Warner Bros. was looking at plenty of white actors to lead its adaptation of the Japanese classic. Stars like Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield, Chris Pine, and even Justin Timberlake were listed on the studio’s preferred list. The reports sent anime and movie fans into a tizzy, and the Akira live-action film crept back into the shadows.
Warner Bros. has positioned the film as one of its interest this year, and reports about Waititi’s involvement went public about a month ago. If the director’s work with Thor: Ragnarok makes bank, Warner Bros. will be all the most likely to bring the New Zealand director in for the project, and fans sound like they’d be grateful for his intervention.