After years of false starts and cast/crew changes, it looks like the US live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira is finally moving forward! Per Variety, the film has received an $18.5 million tax credit that is contingent upon the film beginning production within the next 180 days.
“We are thrilled with the opportunity to shoot ‘Akira’ in California,” said Ravi Mehta, Warner Bros. Pictures’ executive VP of physical production and finance, to the site. “The availability of top-notch crew members, plus the wide variety of location choices and predictable weather are second to none.”
Warner Bros. purchased the rights back in 2002 and have attempted, unsuccessfully, over the years to make a live-action adaptation happen. With this massive tax credit, it may very well be the push the studio needed to move forward with the ambitious endeavor.
The Akira adaptation is being produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson through the company Appian Way. What We Do in The Shadows‘ Taika Waititi is currently attached to direct and no cast has been confirmed.
Otomo’s film was originally released in 1988 and was based on several volumes of manga that he also created. The film is widely credited by many to have been the turning point for Western appreciation for anime and manga, especially ones with more adult-oriented stories.