'Akira' creator to produce new anime series adaptation

Tom Beasley
Contributor
Katsuhiro Otomo's 1988 anime 'Akira' is considered to be a classic of the cyberpunk genre. (Credit: Toho)

Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo will produce a new anime series adaptation of his classic manga story.

Otomo is also set to helm a new sci-fi adventure film and put together an anthology collecting his works across various media.

The trio of projects were announced at Los Angeles Anime Expo by animation studio Sunrise Inc.

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Otomo’s new film will be Orbital Era which, according to IGN, will follow “a group of young boys who live on a space colony which is still being constructed”.

Japanese manga artist Katsuhiro Otomo poses on a replica of his Akira anime's motorbike on the eve of the 43rd Angouleme International Comics Festival on January 27, 2016. (Credit: GEORGES GOBET/AFP/Getty Images)

Otomo: The Complete Works, meanwhile, will be curated by the manga maestro himself and will collate "every one of his works and statements in chronological order" since his 1971 manga debut.

The collection will be available worldwide, but no release date has been confirmed.

Read more: What did Akira get right about 2019?

Akira started life as a manga in 1982 before migrating to the big screen for a 1988 movie that is considered to be one of the key works in the cyberpunk genre that also includes the similarly lauded manga and film franchise Ghost in the Shell.

The film’s story is set in the dystopian Tokyo of 2019, where biker gangs roam the streets and the administration is riddled with corruption.

It follows Tetsuo, who has psychic abilities awakened within him that grow more dangerous and powerful as the story progresses.

Taika Waititi arrives at the world premiere of "Captain Marvel" on Monday, March 4, 2019, at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Akira has been lined up for a Hollywood remake for many years, with directors including George Miller, Justin Lin, Jaume Collet-Serra and Jordan Peele considered to take charge.

Read more: The long history of the live-action Akira

The film is finally moving forward now, with Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi moving towards a May 2021 release date.

Waititi has said he will seek to cast Asian actors in his film, helping to allay the whitewashing concerns that affected the 2017 adaptation of Ghost in the Shell, which starred Scarlett Johansson in the lead role.