Live-Action 'Akira' Has A Release Date And May Actually Be Happening This Time

We've seen more live-action adaptations of classic manga lately with Ghost in the Shell and Alita: Battle Angel, neither really knocking the ball out of the park. But maybe Akira can change all of that? That's right, the live-action Akira movie that has been in development for more than a decade is actually happening this time, with Warner Bros. giving it a release date of May 21st 2021.

Promisingly, Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi is still on board, and he may be the best reason to have hope for this. The film has had a number of directors and actors pass through it over the years, including Leonardo DiCaprio who is producing through his Appian Way banner.  Just last month the production gained some tax credits that were an important first step to locking down a start date, but there was good reason to be skeptical.

For those who don't know, Akira is set in futuristic neo-Tokyo where two best friends and members of a biker gang become involved in a government experiment that unleashes one's latent psychokinetic powers.  The central characters are named Kaneda and Tetsuo, which you would think means an Asian cast would be brought in. However, past versions of this remake have suggested an Americanized city such as neo-Manhattan, and rumored stars included Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart. 

With all of the uproar over white-washing, I have serious doubts Warner Bros., Waititi, and DiCaprio will make that kind of mistake. [THR]