After nearly twenty years of languishing development, politics and stagnation, a live-action cinematic rendering of classic anime feature staple, Akira, will release in theaters on May 21, 2021. The film will reportedly open against the next installment of the John Wick franchise.
The news comes according to Deadline following recent months of developments that now have Thor: Ragnarok helmer Taika Waititi directing possibly this July with locations set in California thanks to an $18.5 million dollar state tax credit approval last month.
Akira was created by mangaka Otomo Katsuhiro who shepherded both Kodansha’s 1982 manga and his 1988 feature from Toho. The story centers on two members of a biker gang – childhood friends Kaneda and Tetsuo, living in post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo who find themselves embroiled in government corruption and secrecy when a military experiment turns Tetsuo into a psionic madman.
Akira is long considered a staple of Japanese science fiction, cyberpunk and action entertainment culture, in addition to adding to much of Otomo’s acclaim as one of the most prolific innovators in the world of film and entertainment.
Andrew Lazar and Leonardo DiCaprio are producing.