After What We Do in the Shadows and Thor: Ragnarok, we’d trust Taika Waititi to direct a ham sandwich (and you just know that sandwich would look amazing, be hilarious, and have some amazing action sequences). But we’re definitely more excited for him to tackle a film we have been waiting decades to see on the big screen, a live-action Akira. And now we know when we’re going to see it, because it will ride into theaters in the spring of 2021.
Warner Bros. has announced (via The Hollywood Reporter) a May 21, 2021 release date for Waititi’s highly anticipated film based on the beloved 1982 Manga series. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way will produce. This won’t be the first time writer and illustrator Katsuhiro Otomo’s classic series will get a cinematic adaptation, but a live-action version has been a dream of filmmakers ever since Otomo’s 1988 animated movie was released.
The studio, which first acquired the rights for the movie way back in 2002 and has had numerous stops and starts, is showing major faith in the post-apocalyptic cyberpunk story set in a dystopian Tokyo in the year 2019 (oh that hits a little too close to home right now). Warner Bros. has set its opening weekend to go up against the recently announced John Wick 4.
Of course, we won’t have to choose between seeing either Akira or John Wick 4 that weekend, we’ll just have to decide which movie we’ll see first and how we’ll get our heart to slow down after the double feature.
We still don’t know who will play Tetsuo, Kaneda, Akira, or anyone else, but it doesn’t matter. With an amazing setting, a motorcycle riding hero with telekinetic powers, a city-exploding psychic, and Taika Waititi leading the way, this film could do the impossible and live up to the decades of anticipation.
Akira Image: TMS Entertainment