Taika Waititi's 'Akira' Film Rides Into Theaters In 2021

Warner Bros. has been trying to make a live-action Akira movie for years, and so many talented filmmakers have cycled through its development that I honestly never thought we'd see it happen. But it looks like director Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok, The Hunt for the Wilderpeople) is going to be the one to finally crack it, because the film now has an official release date.

Akira Release Date Announcement

The studio says Waititi's version of Akira will hit theaters on May 21, 2021. That's currently the same day as John Wick: Chapter 4, but we're guessing one of these movies will end up flinching and moving to a different date.

"I always felt like it was something that could do with a unique take," Waititi said about the project a couple of years ago. "But, I don't believe the world needs a remake of the anime, I think for me it would be, if there's any real possibility for doing it, I would really just want to look at an adaptation of the books in a new way."

Here's the synopsis of the original manga:

Welcome to Neo-Tokyo, built on the ashes of a Tokyo annihilated by a blast of unknown origin that triggered World War III. The lives of two streetwise teenage friends, Tetsuo and Kaneda, change forever when paranormal abilities begin to waken in Tetsuo, making him a target for a shadowy agency that will stop at nothing to prevent another catastrophe like the one that leveled Tokyo. At the core of the agency's motivation is a raw, all-consuming fear of an unthinkable, monstrous power known only as Akira.

And here's the trailer for the highly stylized and incredibly influential 1988 film directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, the same man who created the original manga:

Will Waititi be able to capture even half of the weirdness from the original story? I'm incredibly curious to see what he does here – and how a major Hollywood studio is going to release something so gnarly.