Earlier today, Warner Bros. announced that their live-action Akira film is slated to open on May 21, 2021. The movie will launch against Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 4.
On April 2, news broke that the picture will be shot in California. The film will receive an $18.5 million tax credit from the California Film Commission, under the state’s “Film & TV Tax Credit Program 2.0” program.
Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok) is slated to direct the live-action Akira film, which is being produced by Warner Bros and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way production company. Andrew Lazar, along with Appian Way’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson are attached as producers on the feature. An initial script was written by Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and Gary Whitta (Book of Eli), which originally had Ruairi Robinson slated to direct.
In 2015, Marco J. Ramirez (Orange is the New Black, Daredevil Season 2) was hired to pen a new draft of the script.
The feature is being described as “a priority” for Warner, who picked up the live-action film rights with Legendary Pictures for a sum of money only described as “7 figures”, implying several million dollars. The studio intends to produce two films, with each covering three books in the series.
The feature came close to a start date several years ago, before Warner closed their Vancouver production office. They allowed test options deals for Dane DeHaan and Michael Pitt, who were both vying for the role of Tetsuo. Other confirmed talents at the time included Garrett Hedlund, Kristin Stewart, and (potentially) Ken Watanabe and Helena Bonham Carter.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter