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Live-Action Akira Film Delayed Indefinitely

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Warner Bros. reportedly hopes Taika Waititi will direct film after Thor 4

Entertainment news website Variety reported on Tuesday that Warner Bros. has delayed its live-action Akira film indefinitely. The film was previously slated to begin production in fall, and its release was scheduled for May 21, 2021.

Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok, Boy, Hunt for the Wilderpeople) was reportedly in the process of choosing the two lead roles from among Japanese actors, and the studio originally delayed the project to allow him time for the that process. However, the website noted that there may be "more creative disagreements over the project."

Entertainment new website The Hollywood Reporter reported on Tuesday that Waititi is directing Marvel's Thor 4 film. The production schedules for the two projects reportedly began to overlap. The website stated that script concerns caused a delay in the start of filming for Akira. The website's sources said that while some of those concerns have been addressed, the production dates became "too close for comfort." Sources also stated that Warner Bros. hopes to keep Waititi as director and see him continue the project after Thor 4.

Waititi said in an interview in April 2018 that he planned to adapt the original manga as opposed to the anime film adaptation.

The California Film Commission revealed this past April that the film would shoot entirely in California and receive a tax credit of US$18.5 million. The project must begin production within 180 days to receive the tax credit. The project was scheduled to shoot on 71 days of filming in California. The film was expected to generate an estimated US$92 million in qualified spending, including US$43 million in wages to 200 below-the-line crew members and more than 5,000 extras.

Deadline described the project's story in 2017 as taking place "in the rebuilt New Manhattan where a leader of a biker gang saves his friend from a medical experiment." Deadline also described the project as spanning two films, with each film tackling three volumes of Katsuhiro Ōtomo's original manga. Mad Chance's Andrew Lazar was set to produce the film alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson's Appian Way Productions.

In October 2011, Warner officially green-lit the film for director Jaume Collett-Serra (Unknown, Orphan, House of Wax). However, The Hollywood Reporter then posted that production had shut down in January 2012, before filming would have started. Warner had stalled the project to revise the script so it would be less costly. Collett-Serra said in February 2014 that he was still working on the project, but he then told the Collider website that there was no progress on the project as of March 2015.

Sources: Variety (Justin Kroll), The Hollywood Reporter (Borys Kit)

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