Film director James Gunn has revealed how was only able to cast Taika Waititi in The Suicide Squad because the live-action Akira film “fell apart.”
IndieWire reports how Gunn had managed to cast Waititi in The Suicide Squad despite him being unable to get him at first. Gunn wanted Waititi in a larger role, but could not cast him due to his other commitments directing Akira. Even a smaller role was rejected for the same reason.
The Suicide Squad went into pre-production around the time Waititi was supposed to have begun filming Akira. However, the project was postponed indefinitely in 2019 due to “creative disagreements.” He then directed Thor: Love and Thunder, but still insisted the film was still being made. The live-action Akira was postponed yet again, with Matrix 4 taking its May 21st, 2021 premiere date.
“Then, all of a sudden, it fell apart,” Gunn explained to IndieWire, “and [Taika] wrote me and he said, ‘Oh, [the] fucking movie fell apart. Is that role is still available?’”
Gunn explained that while that role was gone, he got Waititi another role in the film. The role is nonetheless described as memorable, and (in IndieWire’s words) “a sort of merry jester that fans will likely be happy to see when the film arrives this week.”
A recent poll was issued to Japanese viewers of video distribution service 1Screen, asking what anime titles they wanted to see Hollywood adapt into live-action. The outstanding answer was “nothing.”