×

Leonardo DiCaprio’s ‘Akira’ to Shoot in California, $18.5 Million Tax Credit Allocated

Akira,” produced by Leonardo DiCaprio for Warner Bros., will shoot in California and receive an $18.5 million tax credit, the California Film Commission has announced.

Akira” was by far the biggest of the 18 tax credit allocations unveiled Tuesday under the state’s Film & TV Tax Credit Program 2.0, which include eight independent projects. The movies will generate an estimated $408 million in qualified expenditures (below-the-line wages and payments to in-state vendors) and employ 2,575 crew, 812 cast, and 29,000 extras/stand-ins over a combined 740 shoot days in California.

“Akira,” based on a manga series written and illustrated by Katsuhiro Otama and set in a post-apocalyptic 2060 Tokyo, will generate an estimated $92 million in qualified spending. This figure includes $43 million in wages to 200 below-the-line crew members and more than 5,000 extras/stand-ins. The project is scheduled to film entirely in California over the course of 71 filming days.

“We are thrilled with the opportunity to shoot ‘Akira’ in California,” said Ravi Mehta, Warner Bros. Pictures’ executive VP of physical production and finance. “The availability of top-notch crew members, plus the wide variety of location choices and predictable weather are second to none.”

Dicaprio is producing “Akira” with Jennifer Davisson through their Appian Way company with Taika Waititi (“Thor: Ragnarok”) attached to direct. In order to receive the tax credit, producers must begin production within 180 days.

With the addition of “Akira,” California has attracted a total of 13 big-budget feature films under its expanded Program 2.0 — which includes projects with budgets of at least $75 million.

“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,” said California Film Commission executive director Amy Lemisch. “‘Akira’ is just the latest in a growing list of big-budget film projects that have found California offers the best value despite the availability of more aggressive financial incentives in other states and nations.”

Ten of the 18 projects plan to shoot outside the Los Angeles 30-mile zone including Tucker Tooley Productions’ “Flying Horse” with 50 filming days in Sacramento. It’s receiving a $4.4 million tax credit. A teen drama based on Jandy Nelson’s novel “The Sky is Everywhere” has been set for a $1.7 million credit with 40 filming days in Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Marin, and Alameda counties.

“This latest round of tax credits demonstrates how Program 2.0 enables indie and studio projects to remain in California and tap our unmatched talent and infrastructure,” Lemisch added. “The filmmakers represent diverse projects that will shoot in locations across the state — from Napa Valley and Lake Tahoe to San Diego County.”

The commission reported on Nov. 2 that California’s expanded production tax incentive program has resulted in nearly $6 billion in in-state spending over the past three years, generated from $815 million in tax credits. California’s credit covers up to 25% of in-state production costs, which is not as lucrative as other locations, but is aimed at putting the brakes on runaway production and luring projects to the Golden State.

In July, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed an extension of California’s production tax credit program for five years beyond its 2020 expiration with $1.6 billion in credits. The program was more than tripled in size in 2014 to $330 million annually to compete effectively with incentives in New York and Georgia. The program is overseen by the state’s film commission, which selects the TV and movie projects to qualify partly based on the number of jobs created.

Feature films covered under the program include Disney’s “Captain Marvel,” Paramount’s “Transformers” spinoff “Bumblebee” and Warner Bros. “Space Jam 2,” starring LeBron James and Bugs Bunny. Earlier this year, Showtime’s “Penny Dreadful: City of Angels” became the 16th television series to relocate to California and has been allocated $24.7 million in tax credits. Other relocated series include “Good Girls,” “You,” “Sneaky Pete,” “Legion,” “Ballers” and “Veep.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Dogs Don’t Wear Pants

    Buyers Catch Valkeapaa's ‘Dogs Don’t Wear Pants’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Rolling off its Cannes Directors’ Fortnight world bow, J.-P. Valkeapää’s BDSM movie “Dogs Don’t Wear Pants” has been sold by The Yellow Affair to new U.K. distributor Anti-Worlds for the U.K. and Ireland, as well as to The Klockworx Co for Japan, Ama Films for Greece, HHG for Russia/CIS, Pilot Film for the Czech Republic [...]

  • 'Kix,' 'Frem' Win Docu Talent Awards

    'Kix,' 'Frem' Win Docu Talent Awards at Sarajevo Film Festival

    Hungary’s “Kix” and Czech Republic’s “Frem” won the Docu Talent Awards, chosen from a field of 10 documentary features from Central and Eastern Europe, at the Sarajevo Film Festival on Sunday. “Kix,” directed by David Mikulan and Balint Revesz, is the story of Sanyi, a troubled youth, as he grows from eight to 18, morphing [...]

  • The Garden

    Bragason Brings ‘Woman at War’s’ Geirharosdottir to ‘The Garden’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Acclaimed actress Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir, best known for “Woman at War,” is set to star in writer/director Ragnar Bragason’s dark comedy “The Garden.” Currently in post-production and to be pitched at Haugesund’s New Nordic Films over Aug. 20-23, “The Garden” is Bragason’s sixth feature and his first one since the 2013 Toronto entry “Metalhead.” “I did [...]

  • Costa Gavras

    Costa-Gavras to Receive San Sebastian Career Achievement Donostia Award

    Costa-Gavras, the Greek-born France-based director of some of the most famed movies of political cinema, from 1969’s “Z” to 1981’s “Missing,” will receive a career achievement Donostia Award at this September’s 67th San Sebastian Film Festival. The filmmaker will collect his prize on Sept. 21 at a ceremony held at San Sebastian’s Victoria Eugenia, where [...]

  • Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage), Leonard (Bill

    China Box Office: New Animations No Match For 'Nezha' Domination

    Chinese animation “Nezha” continued its run as China’s biggest hit of the summer, maintaining its top spot at the box office even 25 days into its run with a weekend gross of $41.2 million. The tally made it this weekend’s fourth highest grossing film worldwide. Meanwhile, two other new animated titles performed unremarkably. The flop of [...]

  • Samuel-W.-Gelfman

    Samuel Gelfman, Roger Corman Film Producer, Dies at 88

    Samuel Gelfman, a New York producer known for his work on Roger Corman’s “Caged Heat,” “Cockfighter” and “Cannonball!,” died Thursday morning at UCLA Hospital in Westwood following complications from heart and respiratory disease, his son Peter Gelfman confirmed. He was 88. Gelfman was born in Brooklyn, New York and was raised in Caldwell New Jersey [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content