Hollywood’s Tuesday news cycle just brought the lightning and the thunder, as it’s been announced that Taika Waititi has inked a deal to write and direct a follow-up feature to his 2017 box office smash THOR: RAGNAROK for Marvel Studios!
While this news is bound to send many Marvel fans through the roof with joy (and some with disgust), the arrangement for Waititi to helm the surprise superhero feature comes at a cost. Due to production scheduling conflicts, Waititi will have to place his long-gestating adaptation of the Japanese manga, Akira, on an indefinite hold. Now, I know what you’re thinking, Kaneda! Help meeeeeeeee! Alas, the fact of the matter is that script development on AKIRA is not going well, and until some major concerns for the project have been abated, the effort to turn Katsuhiro Otomo’s classic work into a live-action major motion picture remains in limbo.
For the moment, it’s being reported that Warner Bros. plans to keep Waititi attached to the high-profile feature, though when work on AKIRA will resume is anyone’s guess at this stage of the game. Personally, I don’t think we need a live action adaptation of AKIRA, though I must admit that I’ve been quite curious as to what Waititi and his team would have managed with the material. At the end of the day, I’m comforted by the idea of the movie being placed on hold. I say this because if they’re going to do it at all, I’d rather them not half-ass the effort. Either throw your whole back into it or don’t do it at all. Hopefully, with enough time and tender loving care, AKIRA will return to conversations as a project born from confidence and enthusiasm.
As an added bonus to this momentous news, it’s been confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter that Chris Hemsworth is expected to reprise his role as Thor, God of Sparkles, I mean God of Thunder. Sorry there, buddy. Please don’t smite me.
Up next for Waititi is his off-kilter Holocaust drama JOJO RABBIT. Starring Scarlett Johansson as mother Rosie Betzler, and Waititi as Adolf Hitler, the comedic war film tells the story of a young boy in Hitler’s army who finds out his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their home.
At one point in JOJO RABBIT’s filming process, Waititi was asked by Deadline if he had done any research to play one of history’s most notorious monsters. Then, like a boss, Waititi revealed that he’d done zero research for the part, on account of that Hitler is “a fucking cunt.”
“I didn’t have to do any research, and I didn’t do any research. I didn’t base him on anything I’d seen about Hitler before. I just made him a version of myself that happened to have a bad haircut and a sh*tty little moustache. And a mediocre German accent,” said Waititi.
“It would just be too weird to play the actual Hitler, and I don’t think people would enjoy the character as much,” Waititi added. “Because he was such a fucking cunt, and everyone knows that as well. I think people have got to relate to really enjoy the ride.”
And enjoy the ride we shall! JOJO RABBIT is set to make white nationalists flaming pissed when it goosesteps into theaters on October 18.