By Sean Thiessen | Published
Netflix is showing off its superpowers with a new live-action feature film version of the popular anime series My Hero Academia. Netflix acquired the film from Legendary Entertainment, the company behind the recent string of American Godzilla films, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The adaptation will be with movies like Netflix Death note (2017) on the platform’s growing list of live-action anime adaptations.
The upcoming Netflix version of My Hero Academia, which is based on the original manga and six seasons of an anime adaptation, follows the story of Izuku Midoriya, a boy who is powerless in a world full of super-powered people. These powers, called “claims,” vary greatly among the population, and those who complete the proper education and training become superheroes who help law enforcement fight the villains who use their powers for evil. One day, Izuku is granted a great power by All Might, a powerful hero who sees in Izuku the heart, passion and integrity required to be a superhero.
Izuku then enrolls in a high school for superheroes and embarks on a journey to become Japan’s greatest protector. Between manga and anime, there is a lot of source material to draw from. How far into Izuku’s story the Netflix version of My Hero Academia will go is yet to be seen.
The new film is written by Joby Harold, whose writing credits include episodes of the Disney+ show Obi-Wan Kenobi and the coming Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. Harold also helped write the script for Zacks Snyder’s army of the dead, also a Netflix original movie. Japanese action director Shinskue Sato will helm the Netflix film, which should bode well for the film that My Hero Academia originates and is located in Japan.
My Hero Academia marks the first English-language project for Sato, whose extensive career in action and horror includes a Japanese live-action adaptation of Death note. Netflix notoriously adapted death note, a popular anime series, into a film starring Nat Wolff, Margaret Qualley and Lakeith Stanfield. The film was universally disliked and is a mistake that Netflix certainly hopes to avoid with its acquisition My Hero Academia.
Anime adaptations don’t stop there for the streaming giant. Upside Down Productions, the production company from Stranger Things creators the Duffer Brothers, also have one Death note live-action series in the works for Netflix. The project may be an attempt to win back fans after the disastrous film tour of the same property in 2017; the success Netflix finds with My Hero Academia may even affect the future of Death note series.
Fans of anime have learned to approach live-action adaptations with caution over the years. Although Joby Harold has impressive writing credits, projects like Obi-Wan-Kenobi and Army of the Dead have had mixed responses from their respective fanbases. Shinsuke Sato also has an extensive resume full of blockbuster-style action-packed material; fans can only hope that this combination can get the job done for Netflix and Legendary on My Hero Academia film.