People often go on about how terrible all video game adaptations are, and with infamous examples such as Super Mario Bros., Alone in the Dark, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, DOA: Dead or Alive, Wing Commander and more, it’s easy to see why. But some of these terrible video game feature films adaptations are masterpieces when compared to most live-action feature film adaptations of anime. There’s a handful of fantastic exceptions – the two utterly brilliant Rurouni Kenshin movies being the very pinnacle of the genre in my opinion – but in general, when I hear of a new live-action anime film, I don’t consider whether or not it will suck, but rather just how much it will suck. And that explains why I can’t seem to build up any hype about the news that Sony is developing a live-action feature film adaptation of One-Punch Man.
Variety broke the news last night, revealing that Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner will be penning the script with Hollywood veteran Avi Arad producing. There’s no word on timelines, casting, or director (which is understandable given how early in production this is), but Sony is reportedly “very high on the property given its popularity and the possibility of adding another franchise to the pipeline.”
Originally created by Japanese artist ONE (yes, that’s a pseudonym) as a viral webcomic in 2009, One-Punch Man is set in a world of monsters and superheroes. The latter is an actual profession with superheroes employed by the Hero Association. One fledgeling hero from City Z who wants to join the Hero Association is Saitama, a very mild-mannered and unassuming young man. Thing is, thanks to his extensive and superhuman training regime (LOL), the goofy Saitama is actually so powerful that he can utterly destroy anybody he faces with a single punch. This has led Saitama to actually being bored with his omnipotence, always looking for somebody/something that can actually challenge him.
ONE’s webcomic was a massive breakout hit, and ended up being officially published in popular manga Young Jump Next with illustrations by artist Yusuke Murata. In 2015, it was adapted by Madhouse as an anime which proved equally as popular, if not more so. Unfortunately, there was a massive four-year gap between the first and second season of the anime, and the latter had a new production company and director which led to criticism of its production. Even with the long-awaited second season dropping the ball a bit, One-Punch Man still has a huge following across the world so it makes sense that Sony would hop on this.
I just don’t see how the beloved over-the-top absurdity and Saitama’s iconic deadpan expressions will translate to live-action. Not to mention that this thing is going to need a whopper of a budget if it’s to remain faithful to the source’s dynamic action. The writing duo of Rosenberg and Pinkner will really have their work cut out for them. They’re no slouches though.
Rosenberg has been a very reliable blockbuster writer since penning Con-Air in 1997. He also wrote High Fidelity and Gone in 60 Seconds among others, before spending a few years working in television. Pinkner’s career began in television though, penning several episodes of Bad Robot productions like Lost, Alias, and Fringe. While he had a bit of a stumble when jumping to the big screen by adapting The Dark Tower, once he teamed up with Rosenberg, he hit his stride. Together the pair penned Venom, and the two recent Jumanji films, all being hugely successful for Sony. The studio is clearly hoping that hot streak will continue with One-Punch Man.
Last Updated: April 22, 2020
April 22, 2020 at 15:34
Not even their grandmother’s are going to enjoy the movie they make.
April 22, 2020 at 16:30
Mumen rider is the best super hero!