‘Akira’ Production Put on Hold by Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. has put its long-in-development “Akira” adaptation on hold indefinitely, sources tell Variety.

Sources indicate that after a brief delay, the studio has pulled the plug on production indefinitely for the classic anime adaptation, which was set to begin later this fall. “Thor: Ragnarok” helmer Taika Waititi was on board to direct, and the studio hopes when he is done with production on “Thor 4” that the film can get back into production. Though the studio and Waititi would still like another crack at this adaptation, it is unknown whether the studio would be wanting to wait for the director to finish “Thor,” especially when that film is so far away from a production start date.

Waititi was in the midst of meeting with young Japanese actors for “Akira’s” two lead roles. While the studio originally delayed production to give him time to find the right talent, creative concerns sent the film back into development.

The postponement represents another setback for the “Akira” adaptation, which has spent years of trying to get off the ground, dating back to when Jaume Collet-Serra was set to direct in 2012. Warner Bros. had similar budgetary concerns at the time, and the studio went back to the drawing board. Collet-Sera eventually departed to work on other projects.

When Waititi boarded the film in 2018 after he finished production on Fox Searchlight’s “Jojo Rabbit,” the film looked to be in its best position in years to finally get moving. “Akira” was scheduled to open on May 21, 2021, but it’s now likely to be removed from the schedule.

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