Warner Bros.’ long-in-the-works Akira movie has been scheduled to hit theaters May 21, 2021, the studio announced Friday. Taika Waititi is directing the live-action project, which is based on the popular ’80s manga (previously adapted as a groundbreaking anime film) about biker gangs and telekinesis in dystopian Neo-Tokyo.
The release date sets up a box office battle with John Wick: Chapter 4, which is also slated to open that day.
Warner Bros. acquired the rights to Katsuhiro Otomo’s original Akira manga series way back in 2008. In 2010, it was reported that Albert Hughes (Menace II Society, Dead Presidents) had signed on to direct a planned two-film adaptation. The following year, Jaume Collet-Serra (Run All Night) took over the project, with Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart in negotiations to star in the film, but Warner Bros. halted production at the start of 2012. Then in 2015, EW confirmed that Daredevil co-showrunner Marco J. Ramirez had been hired to write an adaptation. In 2017, /Film reported that Warner Bros. was looking to at either David Sandberg (Shazam!) or Daniel Espinosa (the alien horror movie Life) to helm the movie.