– by Joseph Jammer Medina

The age I dreamed of for years finally seems to be coming. Anime and manga fans may finally start seeing a bunch of their favorite series get adapted to the big screen. Right now, GHOST IN THE SHELL is in production, Justin Lin is reportedly being eyed to direct the long-gestating AKIRA film, and according to new report from Variety, the manga LONE WOLF AND CUB’s remake and sequel rights have just been acquired by SP International. This is the same studio that is currently producing the GHOST IN THE SHELL film.

LONE WOLF AND CUB is no stranger to adaptations. The 1970s manga, written by Kazuo Koike and drawn by Goseki Kojima, has been adapted into several movies as well as two full TV series in Japan. The property never had a Hollywood adaptation as of yet, but interestingly enough, Justin Lin, who is now being eyed for Akira, was attached to the film back in 2012 (these manga properties have been wallowing in Hollywood’s development hell for decades).

As far as what to expect from the film, SP International looks to make a live-action, English language Hollywood adaptation. While this is the same studio that has been under fire from the whitewashing of GHOST IN THE SHELL, with LONE WOLF AND CUB, I feel like they understand the cast has to be largely Japanese, as the series is set during the Edo period in Japan — so there isn’t a lot of breathing room for them unless they make some huge changes. For those concerned the studio will go out of their way to make such ridiculous changes, rest easy knowing that Steven Paul, producer at SP International said that the film will be shot with an “essentially Japanese cast,” which is comforting.

While produced by the same studio as GHOST IN THE SHELL, it is doubtful that LONE WOLF AND CUB will have the same backlash this recent GHOST IN THE SHELL photo did.

While produced by the same studio as GHOST IN THE SHELL, it is doubtful that LONE WOLF AND CUB will have the same backlash this recent GHOST IN THE SHELL photo did.

While I’m rarely one to get bent out of shape over race when a film is adapting a property for American consumption, when you have something set in a specific area, some exceptions absolutely need to be made to fit the story.

Paul also had to following to say regarding the acquisition:

“I have been a huge fan of the property for many years and can’t tell you how excited I am to have the opportunity to embark on this journey.”

Despite the fact that I have quite the affinity for manga and anime, this is actually one of those properties I never got around to reading. Among the countless genres existing in the manga-sphere, period pieces aren’t really up my alley. That being said, I’m all for a successful adaptation of this if it means we’ll get to see some other properties in the future.

For those unfamiliar with the property, Variety describes it as follows:

“[LONE WOLF AND CUB] sees a noble samurai plotted against and framed in an assassination conspiracy the samurai disobeys his Shogun’s orders and becomes an assassin for hire.”

Are you looking forward to seeing this hit theaters? Let us know your thoughts down below!

Don’t forget to share this post on your Facebook wall and with your Twitter followers! Just hit the buttons on the top of this page.

SOURCE: Variety

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.