Last month, fans got an update on the upcoming live-action Akira remake. California tax credits revealed Warner Bros. allocated over $18M dollars to Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions to adapt the 1988 anime and that production would begin within half a year. Now, the project has gotten a premiere date.
Earlier today, Warner Bros. announced that the Akira adaptation will open on May 21st, 2021, opposite Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 4. Taika Waititi is expected to direct the film, alongside producers Leonardo DiCaprio and Andrew Lazar.
In the past, Waititi has spoken on his vision for the project, with theThor: Ragnarok director noting back in 2017 that he was aware of whitewashing concerns and he would want to cast Asian actors to keep the film authentic.
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Akira was initially released as a manga in 1982 by Japanese writer and artist, Katsuhiro Otomo, with the book series continuing through to 1990. In 1988, the cyberpunk comics were translated into an anime film, which featured a telekinetic teen, Tetsuo, living in post-apocalyptic Tokyo. The movie focuses on Tetsuo’s relationship with his childhood friend and biker-gang leader Kaneda, who has the ability to stop him from using his powerful, dangerous powers. In 2012, a live-action reboot of the feature, which would have starred Garrett Hedlund, was scrapped amid budget, script, and casting issues.
In other news, Waititi will direct and star in a dark comedy titled Jojo Rabbit in October. He will release an episode for the upcoming Star Wars streaming series, The Mandalorian, which is due out in November.