For who knows how long now people have been talking about and attempting / failing at a live-action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s cyberpunk anime masterpiece, Akira, but as of this weekend, it really, really is happening. Taika Waititi, helmer of Thor: Ragnarok, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, and one half of the brains behind What We Do In The Shadows, will direct the adaptation which is set to open May 21, 2021. 

That’s Neo-Tokyo in live ! action !

According to The Hollywood ReporterLeonardo DiCaprio is co-producing on Akira. There’s no news yet on a cast.

When Waititi was first approached about directing the flick in 2017, he told Gizmodo that he was interested in doing “a cool live-action adaptation of the books” instead of the movie, which doesn’t need to be remade. He also shared just how much he loves Akira. 

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 will premiere opposite John Wick: Chapter 4. So look, based on those two things alone, 2021 is looking like a good year.

Elsewhere, Waititi’s World War II satire Jojo Rabbit is expected to hit cinemas this October. In it, the man stars as a 10-year-old German boy’s imaginary friend Hitler – yes, that Hitler.

Jojo Rabbit also stars Rebel Wilson, Scarlett Johansson, Thomasin McKenzie, Sam Rockwell, Roman Griffin Davis, and Alfie Allen. 

Image: Akira