Taika Waititi’s live-action Akira coming in May 2021

Hollywood adapting anime and manga isn’t a new thing. We’ve had movies like Ghost in the Shell and Dragonball: Evolution, although both have been panned by critics. This year we saw the release of James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez’s Alita: Battle Angel, which actually had more positive reviews from critics and audiences gave it a Cinemascore of A-. There’s more coming our way. Netflix is working on a live-action series of Cowboy Bebop. And Warner Bros. is working with Taika Waititi on Akira, the cult classic anime and manga.

Warner Bros has revealed that it’s going to change the release date of the live-action Akira movie from May 14, 2021 to May 21, 2021. That means it will be competing with John Wick: Chapter 4, a franchise that has a strong following. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum was able to dethrone Avengers: Endgame this past weekend. (The latter was #1 for three weekends in a row, so there’s that.)

Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok) will be directing the film with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way producing.

Hollywood has been trying to adapt Akira for years, with Warner Bros. getting the rights for a live-action version since 2002. The movie has had five different directors and ten different writers working on it with no luck. There was even a version with Tron: Legacy‘s Garrett Hedlund as the star. Waititi has mentioned that he wanted to cast Asians in roles.

“Yeah. 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,” he tells IGN. “Yeah, I’d probably want to take it a bit back more towards the books.”

Akira is based on the manga created by Katsuhiro Otomo, and he was also the director of the 1988 anime movie.

Synopsis: A secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psychic psychopath that only two teenagers and a group of psychics can stop.

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John Nguyen
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