We’ve been around this gritty, high-tech-low-life, cyberpunk block before. News trickles out about the live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s landmark manga and 1988 animation Akira, and then things go silent, and it’s back to square one. Yet with Thor: Ragnarok helmer and great dresser Taika Waititi locked in to direct, and Warner Bros today unveiling a release date, could we finally be catching the bullet train to Neo-Tokyo?
Now slated for a May 21, 2021 release, Waititi’s take on Akira will go toe-to-toe with John Wick, when his fourth film releases on the same day. Leonardo DiCaprio and Andrew Lazar are set to produce via Appian Way.
The live-action Akira has gone through years of murmurs and rumors without anything to really show for it, with names like George Miller attached to direct and that same gun-fu master, Keanu Reeves, rumored to star. News broke last month of a major tax break that the production would receive, so things seemed to be chugging along. Money talks!
Western adaptations of Japanese manga and anime have met with varying degrees of success, so hopefully Akira is the one to finally stick the landing. Until then, Waititi’s next film Jojo Rabbit, a World War II comedy in which the director plays Hitler (you’ve gotta love this guy!) is set for an October release this year.
For more Akira apocalypses and Waititi witticisms, we await further reports.
Taika Waititi’s ‘Akira’ Sets 2021 Release Date [The Hollywood Reporter]