Holy shit, the one and only Katsuhiro Otomo has announced a slew of new projects at this year’s Anime Expo in Los Angeles. And yes, you can expect some more Akira.
Firstly, the 1988 cult-classic-cyberpunk-masterpiece is getting the ultra-HD treatment. THAT’S 4K BABEY. The remastered film is slated for release April 24, 2020 in Japan. A dubbed version for Western viewers will reportedly release at a later date, according to our mates at Gizmodo.
Behold, 15 seconds of the 4K remaster.
According to IndieWire, Otomo said he’s working on a new anime telly series as well – an adaptation of the original Akira manga series. This will dig deeper into the original story from the books and shouldn’t be seen as a direct sequel ‘cos let’s face it, even though the original movie is two hours and five minutes long, we still missed out on a lot.
If that’s not enough, the mastermind also announced a new original film. Produced by Japanese anime studio Sunrise, the sci-fi flick is set in the near future and tells the story of a group of young space colonists who attempt to live in one of humanity’s first attempts at living among the stars.
It’s called Orbital Era and there’s already a mad as hell teaser.
Meanwhile, there’s also a live-action (and unrelated) Akira movie in the works from beloved Kiwi Taika Waititi. The legend is best known for Thor: Ragnarok, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, and the co-creator of What We Do In The Shadows. The live-action adaptation is set to open May 21, 2021.
Details are thin but according to The Hollywood Reporter, Leonardo DiCaprio is co-producing. There’s yet to be any official news on a cast but we’ll keep you updated. In interviews leading up to the announcement, Waititi said he was interested in doing a “cool live-action adaptation of the books” instead of the movie, which he believes doesn’t need to be remade. He also talked about how much Akira means to him.
My mum took me to see Akira in the cinema in 1989, or whenever it came out in New Zealand, and it was a huge turning point in my life for what I imagined animation to be and realising what it could be. It’s stuck with me this whole time and I feel, visually, the film was such an amazing thing.
Waititi’s Akira is set to premiere opposite John Wick: Chapter 4 so that’s something to aggressively look forward to in 2021.