‘Akira’ Live-Action Remake Shuts Down Production at Warner Bros.

Waititi just signed on to direct “Thor 4”

Last Updated: July 17, 2019 @ 9:10 AM

The live-action remake of the cult anime film “Akira,” which Warner Bros. recently slated for release on May 21, 2021, has shut down production and has been put on hold, two individuals with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

The news comes as the film’s director, Taika Waititi, has signed on to direct the fourth “Thor” movie at Marvel Studios. The film is currently slated for a May 21, 2021 release, and it’s likely to be removed from Warner Bros.’ schedule.

Leonardo DiCaprio is producing on behalf of his Appian Way Productions along with Jennifer Davisson. And this is the latest setback for the remake that filmmakers have been attempting for years to crack.

Warner Bros. first acquired the rights in 2002, and Justin Lin, Jaume Collett-Sera and Jordan Peele were among the directors who were approached for the project. Waititi himself said in a 2018 interview he was planning to adapt the manga series of books on which the film is based rather than remake the animated film itself.

Katsuhiro Otomo’s ’80s manga series and the animated 1988 cult film “Akira” are set in a dystopian near-future in a city called Neo-Tokyo, which was built after the old Tokyo was destroyed by a psychic attack. A pair of teenage bikers, Tetsuo and Kaneda, become the top target of the government when Tetsuo suddenly develops psychic powers. Soon, the bikers are on the run not just from the government, but from Akira, the powerful psychic behind the first psychic explosion that destroyed Tokyo.

Waititi’s next film is “Jojo Rabbit” at Fox Searchlight, an “anti-hate” satire in which the director plays a comedic version of Adolf Hitler in a film set in World War II Germany. That film is slated for release on Oct. 18.

THR first reported the news that the project would be pushed back.