Looks like the live-action remake of Katsuhiro Otomo’s seminal 1988 anime film Akira is really, truly, actually getting a release. Mark your calendars, because May 21, 2021, will be here before you know it.
Leonardo DiCaprio will be producing the sci-fi flick, with director Taika Waititi penciled in to bring Akira to the big screen once more. The man behind What We Do in the Shadows, Thor: Ragnarok, Hunt for the WIlderpeople and the forthcoming Jojo Rabbit is the final choice after a string of potentials fell through, including George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road) and Jaume Collet-Serra (The Shallows). Jordan Peele of Get Out and Us fame was most recently offered the job, but turned it down to work on original material.
Warner Bros. purchased the rights to the film way back in 2002, but news in April 2019 that the state of California has offered some pretty hefty tax incentives to the production seemed to confirm things were underway. If all goes according to plan, the film will be shot in 71 days, all within the state borders.
As far as the cast goes, no one has been confirmed, but with Waititi at the helm, we can expect that the whitewashing that plagued 2017’s Ghost in the Shell won’t be an issue. When asked about it in 2017 when he was in talks for Akira, Waititi told IGN, “Actually Asian teenagers would be the way to do it for me and probably no, not, like no name, I mean sort of unfound, untapped talent. Yeah, I’d probably want to take it a bit back more towards the books.”
Find out where the original Akira landed on our list of the best anime films of all time right here.