Justin Lin is getting the reputation for saving projects, and “Star Trek: Beyond” hasn’t even hit theaters yet.
Warner Bros. is now reportedly courting the Fast & Furious helmer to take on its long-languishing attempt to bring the 1988 Japanese anime film “Akira” to life as a live-action film.
The studio has spent years trying to make “Akira” happen, but it’s been in development hell almost the entire time. The closest “Akira” got to being made was in 2011 when Jaume Collet-Serra replaced Albert Hughes as director, but still insisted on casting non-Asian actors in the key roles.
That angered many in the Asian-American community, especially Star Trek and social media icon George Takei, who blasted the whitewashing of the project.
“The manga and anime phenomenon is mostly white in this country,” Takei told The Advocate in 2011. “It originated in Japan, and of course, it has a huge Asian fan following. But it’s the multi-ethnic Americans who are fans of ‘Akira’ and manga. The idea of buying the rights to do that and in fact change it seems rather pointless. If they’re going to do that, why don’t they do something original, because what they do is offend Asians, number one. Number two, they offend the fans.”