A live-action adaptation of the popular anime/manga series One Punch Man is in development at Sony, with a script being written by Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner. As reported by Variety, the film will be produced by Avi Arad, who notably handled every Marvel Comics adaptation before the company was acquired by Disney.
One Punch Man is a comedic action series about a superhero named Saitama who, as the title suggests, can defeat literally any enemy with a single punch. (With “defeat” typically meaning “detonate” and/or “launch into space”.) The only person not impressed with Saitama’s ability is Saitama himself – he’s completely bored with fighting and only gets excited when it seems like he finally has a challenge. It’s a completely absurd universe – Saitama’s foes include a humanoid crab named Crablante, who mutated after eating too much shellfish, and Saitama himself looks like a computer repair technician wearing the goofiest costume imaginable. It’s a spoof of shonen anime, which is why I’m dubious about how well it will translate as a live-action Hollywood movie. America doesn’t exactly have the best track record of adapting anime – remember Ghost in the Shell and *shudder* Dragonball Evolution? Also, so much of the humor of One Punch Man comes from making fun of anime tropes, which will be difficult to convey in an action movie setting. (Unless, of course, they turn One Punch Man into a Hot Fuzz style spoof of superhero movies, which might not be a terrible idea.) Only one thing is certain – I must know who is playing Mumen Rider, a superhero who has absolutely no powers beyond riding his bicycle. If the answer is “he’s not in the movie,” I will stage sit-in protests on the sidewalk in front of Sony. Don’t worry about me, there’s a Coffee Bean right there on the corner.
Rosenberg and Pinkner have penned a string of hits for Sony, including the surprise hit Venom and both of the new Jumanji films, so they’re well-versed in big-budget action comedies. And while Arad doesn’t necessarily have the Midas touch, he was behind some of the best superhero movies ever made, X-2 and Spider-Man 2. In the meantime, you can catch Seasons 1 and 2 of One Punch Man on Hulu.