Hollywood’s Ghost in the Shell may be flopping, but there are plenty of live-action adaptations still coming our way! Surely, one of these has to be a hit? I mean, it did take Hollywood a long to time become successful at adapting comic books, so maybe one of these seven projects could be the right spark.
Japan has already produced four live-action movies and one TV drama based on Death Note, but it’s the American version that has been gaining a ton of press. Based on the psychological manga, Death Note follows a college student named Light Yagami who finds a Death Note, which is a notebook that leads to the death of a person when their name is written in it.
The adaptation has been facing outrage over the casting of Light, L, and Misa. The changing of three Asian characters to two Caucasian and an African American has led to a shitstorm on social media. We’ll have to see how this affects the movie’s initial reception when it releases on August 25, 2017.
2Alita: Battle Angel
A little brighter news is James Cameron’s Alita: Battle Angel passion project. The famed sci-fi manga follows a cyborg named Alita who is found in a scrap heap by a cyberphysician named Daisuke Ido.
Cameron has been working on the project since 2000 but has delayed it due to a combination of working on the Avatar trilogy and developing the proper CGI technology to produce Alita: Battle Angel. He has decided to hand directing duties to Robert Rodriguez (Mexico Trilogy) but is still actively involved in the movie’s production. Alita: Battle Angel has a tentative premiere date of July 20, 2018.
Naruto anime fans are currently dealing with the anime’s conclusion while getting ready for Boruto to premiere. However, don’t forget the popular series is having a Hollywood movie produced by Lionsgate.
Originally announced in 2015, fans didn’t catch news of the adaptation until 2016’s Jump Festa event and predictably freaked out over it. Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto is said to be heavily involved in the movie’s production, but little else is known.
Warner Bros. is currently working on two live-action adaptations of Bleach: a Japanese production that is set to open in 2018 and an American production with no release date. Bleach was one of the most popular titles in America during the early 2000s and follows a teenager who becomes a Soul Reaper.
When the American production was announced in 2012, Warners Bros. named Peter Segal (Get Smart director) as the producer and potential director with Dan Mazeau (Wrath of the Titans) as the screenwriter. No other news has been released on the production.
Perhaps the most bizarre live-action adaptation, Paramount Pictures announced that they were producing a Beyblade movie in 2015. The series centers around a tournament that includes the use of top-like toys called Beyblades.
A producer or director has not been named, but Paramount Picturers said that a movie will happen due to the success of their Transformers and G.I. Joe movies.
Akira has been stuck in production hell since 2002 due to legal battles over live-action rights, creative team changes, and general production issues. The landmark anime movie originally hit theaters in 1988 and introduced a generation to the world of post-apocalyptic Tokyo, biker gangs, and psychic powers.
Hollywood’s adaptation has been having trouble finding a director. The past 15 years has seen directors like George Miller (Mad Max), Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Trilogy), Justin Lin (Fast and Furious), and Jordan Peele (Get Out) being attached to the movie. Warner Bros. is determined to get an adaptation done though, but only time will tell if anything is actually made.
7Sword Art Online
The biggest name in anime isn’t getting a movie, but a live-action TV series developed by Skydance Media. Sword Art Online is being fast-tracked as a new franchise, which is being written by Laeta Kalogridis (Terminator Genisys). The project was announced in 2016, so not much is known outside of Skydance Media’s initial press release.
Do you think any of these projects will be successful?