Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok, Boy, Hunt for the Wilderpeople) is directing the film. Waititi said in an interview in April 2018 that he planned to adapt Katsuhiro Otomo’s original manga as opposed to the anime film adaptation.
The California Film Commission revealed in April that the film will shoot entirely in California and receive a tax credit of US$18.5 million. The project must begin production within 180 days to receive the tax credit.
The project is scheduled to shoot on 71 days of filming in California. The film will generate an estimated US$92 million in qualified spending, including US$43 million in wages to 200 below-the-line crew members and more than 5,000 extras.
Deadline described the project’s story in 2017 as taking place “in the rebuilt New Manhattan where a leader of a biker gang saves his friend from a medical experiment.” Deadline also described the project as spanning two films, with each film tackling three volumes Katsuhiro Otomo’s original manga. Mad Chance’s Andrew Lazar is producing the film alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson’s Appian Way Productions.
In October 2011, Warner officially green-lit the film for director Jaume Collett-Serra (Unknown, Orphan, House of Wax). However, The Hollywood Reporter then posted that production had shut down in January 2012, before filming would have started. Warner had stalled the project to revise the script so it would be less costly. Collett-Serra said in February 2014 that he was still working on the project, but he then told the Collider website that there was no progress on the project as of March 2015.