Legendary has announced its intent to produce a live-action adaptation of popular anime and manga My Hero Academia. Hollywood has long been obsessed with bringing popular Japanese anime/manga series to American audiences, usually as live-action blockbusters with A-list actors taking up pivotal roles. Due to the complex and usually long-form nature of anime, however, studios often change or condense these stories to appeal to a wider audience.
This strategy has not really worked thus far for studios, as most live-action anime adaptations are poorly received by both audiences and critics alike (last year’s Ghost in the Shell is a fairly recent example of this, as the film bombed at the box office). With this in mind, it’s certainly a risk for Legendary to attempt to bring My Hero Academia to the big screen for American audiences. However, due to the superhero-like nature of the story and the current box office dominance of superhero movies, perhaps it’s a risk that will pay off for the studio.
The live-action adaptation of My Hero Academia, which is based on writer Kohei Horikoshi’s widely popular manga series, will be produced by Legendary Entertainment in cooperation with manga publisher Shueisha. Alex Garcia and Jay Ashenfelter will oversee My Hero Academia for Legendary while Ryosuke Yoritomi will represent Shueisha’s interest in the project. Popular Japanese distributor Toho will oversee the film’s release in Japan. A release date or any details involving cast or crew was not included with the announcement.
My Hero Academia’s premise centers on an alternate present day world where nearly eighty percent of the world’s population develop powers (called “Quirks” in this world) that they use for both good and evil purposes. The main character of both the anime and the manga is Izuku Midoriya, a Quirkless teenager obsessed with superheroes, especially All Might, who is deemed the “world’s greatest hero.” The plot sees All Might gifting Izuku his powers after witnessing his courage and helping him train to become a hero.
Again, a story like My Hero Academia seems almost tailor-fit for American audiences, where blockbuster superhero films rule the box office (the highest grossing movies of 2018 even continue this trend). Still, the curse of under-performing manga/anime adaptations looms over the upcoming adaptation and general audiences and fanatics of the property alike may be hesitant to give the film a chance. Whether that proves to be the case or not for My Hero Academia remains to be seen.
Source: Legendary Entertainment