It was announced back in 2020 that Warner Bros.' long-gestating live action Akira adaptation had been pushed back after the latest director to be attached to the project, Taika Waititi, signed on to helm Thor: Love and Thunder for Marvel Studios.
Updates have been few and far between since, but the filmmaker didn't sound too confident that he'd get the opportunity to direct the project during a recent interview.
However, Deadline's Justin Kroll believes the movie is finally moving forward with Waititi at the helm, which is why there was no mention of his Star Wars film during Celebration over the weekend.
Kroll notes that "nothing set in stone," but it "sounds like all his focus is on that project."
This news is bound to get a mixed response from fans of the manga/anime, but Waititi has previously stated that he plans to cast race-appropriate actors (which wasn't always going to be the case), so that's something.
Check out the most recent character breakdown below (the names were altered for the casting call), and let us know if you're still - or were ever - on board with a live-action Akira film in the comments.
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Jun (Lead): Male, 18-24 Male, to play Japanese, English speaking. Must be legal 18-20’s to play 18:
Sharp-eyed, sinewy, tough, handsome, cool. He is the leader of a street gang of teenagers & knows how to have a good time. JUN should not be too cool or too tough. He’s a scrappy, ragtag kid who’s not worried about anything. Your weird, natural authentic self is encouraged! LEAD.
The first side is for "Jun," but based on the description, it's got to be Kaneda. We had been led to believe that the latest script draft had aged-up the main players significantly, but it looks like they'll be portrayed as being just a couple of years older than they were in the original manga.
KOICHI (Lead): Male, 18-24 Male, to play Japanese, English speaking. Must be legal 18-20’s to play 17:
Constantly forced to punch up in order to survive. He’s fearless to the point of recklessness. He is haunted by the loss of a loved one. LEAD.
This has to be Kaneda's best friend, Tetsuo, who emerges as the main antagonist of the story. Earlier incarnations of the film changed their relationship to make them brothers, so it's nice to see that's been dropped here.
MISA (Lead): Female, 18-30 Female, to play Japanese, English speaking. Must be legal 18-30:
Beautiful, intelligent, strong-willed. She is a member of an anti-government organization trying to save her city. LEAD.
This has got to be Kei; resistance fighter and eventual love interest to Kaneda. She also has some untapped psychic abilities in the original manga.
REINA (Supporting): Female, 18-24 Female, to play Asian, English speaking (Japanese a plus). Must be legal 18-20’s to play 17:
Gentle, kind, cute, compassionate. She is a member of a biker gang & cares deeply for Koichi. SUPPORTING LEAD.
The characters' true identities start to get a bit less obvious from here, but we're pretty sure this is Tetsuo's love-interest and ultimately the only person that can control him, Kaori.
YAKAMATSU (Supporting): Male, 18-24 Male, to play Asian, English speaking (Japanese a plus). Must be legal 18-20’s to play 18:
Large, tough, loyal, short-fused. A member of Jun’s gang & a close friend. SUPPORTING LEAD.
We assume this is supposed to be Yamagata, who is Kaneda's muscle in the manga/anime and harbors a deep distrust of Tetsuo.
YUKI (Supporting): Male, 18-24 Male, to play Asian, English speaking (Japanese a plus). Must be legal 18-20’s to play 16:
A small, clever, brainy technical wiz, he is the youngest member of Jun’s street gang. SUPPORTING LEAD.
Again, just a guess here, but based on the description we reckon this is Kaisuke, who is the most technically minded of the gang in the original story.
GEN (Supporting): Male, 10-12 Male, to play Asian, English speaking (Japanese a plus), age 10:
A small, mysterious boy on an urgent mission; he is humble, shy, compassionate & wise beyond his years. SUPPORTING LEAD.
This is either Takashi or Masaru, but the "urgent mission" part has us leaning towards the former. Takashi is an esper: a young child with vast physic powers who is being experimented on and used as a weapon by the government.
AIMI (Supporting): Female, 10-12 Female, to play Asian, English speaking (Japanese a plus), age 10:
A mysterious girl on an urgent mission; she is kind, gentle, compassionate & wise beyond her years. SUPPORTING LEAD.
Another esper, this is almost certainly Kiyoko. There are three of these psychic kids in the manga/anime, but it looks like they may have decided to drop the wheelchair-bound Masaru for the movie.