Taika Waititi plays Adolf Hitler in his upcoming movie, 'Jojo Rabbit.' — AFP pic
Taika Waititi plays Adolf Hitler in his upcoming movie, ‘Jojo Rabbit.’ — AFP pic

LOS ANGELES, May 28 — After receiving an US$18 million (RM75.3 million) incentive to film the big-screen adaptation of the Akira manga, Warner Bros. has set May 21, 2021, as the US release date for the picture. The live-action movie is expected to start filming by the end of 2019, directed by Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok).

After being on the cards for years, Hollywood’s live-action version of the Akira manga will soon be coming to the big screen. The movie, helmed by Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok director, Taika Waititi, is slated for US theatrical release May 21, 2021.

It will land on the same day as the fourth John Wick movie, following the current box office hit John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum.

Back in April, the Akira project was awarded an US$18 million tax credit from California’s incentives program, on the condition of beginning production within 180 days. Warner Bros has not yet said exactly when Taika Waititi will start filming, although things should logically get underway by the end of 2019.

Produced by Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way, Akira has been in the pipeline for more than 15 years. A first more Americanized version, scheduled to star Garrett Hedlund, was abandoned in 2012. Taika Waititi is expected to opt for a more faithful adaptation of the original work and will reportedly be casting Asian actors in the movie’s roles.

The manga, written and illustrated by Katsuhiro Otomo from 1982 to 1990, is set in a post-apocalyptic Tokyo. The story notably follows Tetsuo, a teen who discovers he has powerful telekinetic abilities that threaten the world. The only person who seems able to stop the dangerous, all-powerful teen is his childhood friend and former gang leader, Kaneda.

The manga was made into an anime feature in 1988.

Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi’s comedy-drama Jojo Rabbit, starring Scarlett Johansson and Rebel Wilson, opens October 18, 2019, in the US. He will also be one of the directors working on The Mandalorian, a series set in the Star Wars universe. — AFP-Relaxnews