Those hoping to someday see the world of Akira brought to the big screen in live-action will need to wait a whole lot longer, as Warner Bros. has removed the project from its release schedule entirely. The studio recently did some shifting with its release date calendar, firming up its plans for 2020 and 2021. Originally, Akira was supposed to arrive in time for summer 2021. That's no longer the case.
Warner Bros. has set The Matrix 4 to arrive on May 21, 2021, which had been the date set aside for the Akira live-action remake. Instead, it will go to one of the most successful franchises in the studio's long history. As for the adaptation of the beloved manga, Taika Waititi is still on board to direct. The idea had been for him to helm Akira before moving onto Thor: Love and Thunder at Marvel. However, the production schedules got pushed a little too close together and that didn't come to pass. Waititi did express that he fully intends to circle back to the project after his next adventure in the MCU is complete.
Even though many fans are likely to be upset about this news, the fact that Warner Bros. pulled Akira from its schedule isn't too surprising. Back in July, production was delayed indefinitely, just when it seemed things were finally gearing up for real this time. Akira has been with the studio since 2002, with various filmmakers becoming attached and subsequently departing along the way. Taika Waititi, given the success of Thor: Ragnarok, seemed like the right guy for the job. And he very well may still be. But with Thor: Love and Thunder not hitting theaters until November 5, 2021, it's going to be a while.
There is another interesting element to this release date shuffle. As it just so happens, Lionsgate had previously set John Wick 4 to open on May 21, 2021. That means, assuming things stick (but it's possible something could change between now and then), it's going to be Keanu Reeves vs Keanu Reeves at the box office that weekend. Reeves will be battling against himself in two of his most iconic franchises. One can only hope this ends up happening, as it's surely going to be fun to watch. Warner Bros. also set a release date for The Flash solo movie and bumped up the release of the new Mortal Kombat.
Akira is based on the manga series by Katsuhiro Otomo. The book was previously turned into an acclaimed anime, which was released in 1988. Leonardo DiCaprio is currently on board to produce the movie. Whether or not he's still involved when the movie finally gets the green light is another question entirely. We'll be sure to keep you posted as further details on the live-action version are made available. This news was previously reported by The Wrap.