Back before I joined the LRM Online train and film journalism, I was in the anime industry, and as such, I always had my eye on the various properties floating around in Hollywood. Ghost in the Shell was always a subject of conversation — as were Death Note and Alita: Battle Angel. All of these films eventually came to fruition (with varying success), but there is one other movie that’s been tumbling around Tinsel Town.
Of course, I’m talking about Akira, the cyberpunk animated film from Katsuhiro Otomo. Released in 1988, the film helped introduce the anime medium to western audiences. In my opinion, the movie was utter nonsense — especially that last half — but if you have a chance, I highly recommend the manga, which actually contains the complete story. And it’s fitting, because as far as we know, the eventual adaptation will be pulling from the manga source material.
In case you didn’t realize this was in the works, it’s coming from Leonardo DiCaprio (as producer) and has Thor: Ragnarok‘s Taika Waititi set to helm. We’ve known this for well over a year, but it looks like the movie has taken a big step: gained tax incentives for filming in California. According to THR, Akira is one of 18 films selected to receive tax credits under the California Film Commission’s Film & TV Tax Credit Program 2.0.
The film is apparently going to be shot in California over the course of 71 days.
“We are thrilled with the opportunity to shoot Akirain California,” Ravi Mehta, Warner Bros. Pictures EVP of physical production and finance, said. “The availability of top-notch crew members, plus the wide variety of location choices and predictable weather are second to none.”
“Big-budget film projects bring big employment and big spending, and we’re able to bring them home to California more cost-effectively than other locales that don’t have all that we have to offer,” California Film Commission executive director Amy Lemisch said in announcing the latest round of recipients.
The film has yet to be cast, but with this incentive in place, it looks like it’s only a matter of time. In the past, Waititi has expressed his intention to hire an Asian cast…let’s hope Warner Bros. actually lets him do that.
Are you excited to see this movie finally making progress? Let us know down below!
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