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Taika Waititi’s Akira now has a release date.
The adaptation of the classic manga will open May 21, 2021, Warner Bros. announced Friday. Akira is set to open opposite Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 4. Earlier this week, Warner Bros. moved its animated movie DC Super Pets off of the weekend, pushing it back a year to 2022.
Akira began life as a manga in 1982, with writer-artist Katsuhiro Otomo’s cyberpunk series running through 1990. Otomo adapted the property as an anime feature in 1988. Set in postapocalyptic Tokyo, the original story revolves around a teen, Tetsuo, who discovers he has powerful telekinetic abilities that threaten the world. Once a member of a biker gang, the only person who seems to be able to stop the all-powerful and dangerous teen is his childhood friend and gang leader, Kaneda. The 1988 film is a pop culture staple and brought anime to a much wider audience in the U.S. Akira has been referenced in numerous TV shows and movies, including South Park.
A live-action Akira has long been discussed in Hollywood. Back in 2012, a version that would have starred Garrett Hedlund was shelved, with various filmmakers coming and going on the project that would have been an Americanized version of the story. Waititi is expected to go a more authentic route, stating back in 2017 that he would want to cast Asian actors in the roles.
Waititi has the dark comedy Jojo Rabbit due out Oct. 18. He is also among the directors who have helmed episodes for the Star Wars streaming series The Mandalorian, which debuts in November.
Leonardo DiCaprio is producing Akira though his Appian Way along with Andrew Lazar.
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