‘Akira’ Coming to Life with Director Taika Waititi, Producer Leonardo DiCaprio

It looks like things are moving along with Akira at last. After nearly twenty years in limbo, Hollywood is making progress with its live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otoma’s iconic manga. According to new reports, Akira is moving forward, and it is doing so with some star-studded crew members.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Akira is making headway in California. The trade is reporting the live-action adaptation is being headed up by Taika Waititi, the director behind films like Thor: Ragnarok. He will be joined by producer Leonardo DiCaprio (via Appian Way) as well as Andrew Lazar.

The report came courtesy of a recent tax credit reveal published by the California Film Commissions’s Film & TV Tax Credit Program. It turns out Akira will film in California and receive a tax credit to the tune of $18.5 million.

So far, Warner Bros. Pictures has yet to cast any talent for the adaptation.

“We are thrilled with the opportunity to shoot Akirain California,” Ravi Mehta, Warner Bros. Pictures EVP of physical production and finance, said. “The availability of top-notch crew members, plus the wide variety of location choices and predictable weather are second to none.”

Fans are eyeing the project with caution as Akira has become somewhat of a myth amongst film fans. The title is heralded as one of Japan’s most famous as Otoma’s post-apocalyptic series helped genre-bend the science fiction realm. Now, fans are curious how a war-torn take of Tokyo will be brought to life in California for filming, but this tax credit could go a long way in setting stages for Akira.

So, are you interested to see how Akira goes from here...? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!

Originally created by Katsuhiro Otomo for Kodansha's Young Magazine in 1982, Akira later inspired the equally as prolific 1988 animated film, which Otomo himself directed. The story is set in a dystopian world following the bleak close of World War III. A gang leader known as Kaneda finds himself embroiled in a massive government operation when his best friend begins exhibiting powerful telekinetic gifts. To save his friend, Kaneda must get to the bottom of Neo Tokyo’s espers, but the lead quickly learns he is way in over his head.

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