While live-action anime and manga adaptations have gotten a far better reception in recent years, there's one that's still been a point of concern for many as a live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira has been in the works for a long, long time. Things started moving forward promisingly in the last couple of years as Thor: Love and Thunder and Jojo Rabbit director Taika Watiti was soon attached to the project as director, and production was soon supposed to get off the ground for a May 21, 2021 release date. But it was soon confirmed that production had been put on an indefinite hold.
Numerous reports had sprung up about the nature of the film's indefinite delay, and recently the director spoke to IGN about the live-action Akira project. Although the production has stopped, Waititi still very much wants to make the film happen.
Speaking to IGN, Waititi stated that Akira kept getting pushed back as continued work on it began to overlap with his work on Thor: Love and Thunder, "Because we were working really hard on the script, we had to keep pushing back the start date for the shoot. And we ended up having to push it a couple of weeks too far, which actually ate into the Thor schedule. It was very close together."
Elaborating further about how this slight delays eventually lead to the hold on Akira, "Then it got pushed again, and again. It just got too far into the foreschedule to make it work. So now we had to kind of take Akira, and sort of shift it around to the tail end of Thor, and move it down a couple of years. But yeah, still want to make it."
So while it might be an even longer wait for the new Akira film, and it could potentially never happen as the film continues its cycle of production, original series creator Katsuhiro Otomo actually has a few more projects in the pipeline. Akira will be returning with a new anime project of some kind, and Otomo's new film Orbital Era has already shared its first look with fans.
Katsuhiro Otomo originally created Akira for Kodansha's Young Magazine in 1982, and it 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 in way over his head.